THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has said the country will hold harmonised elections in July or August next year and there shall be no by-elections for Parliament and local authority seats that fall vacant from November 1 this year.
Section 143 of the Constitution states that Parliament is elected for a five-year term which runs from the date on which the President-elect is sworn in and assumes office.
Zimbabwe held its last general election on July 31 in 2018 with President Mnangagwa taking the oath of office on August 26, two days after the Constitutional Court dismissed a court challenge to presidential poll results by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.
In a public notice yesterday, Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said constitutionally, it is anticipated that general elections will be held on a date to be set during the month of either July or August 2023.
She said the decision by Zec to suspend the holding of by-elections is in line with Section 158 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that polling in by-elections shall take place within 90 days of the vacancies occurring unless the vacancies occur within nine months before a general election is due to be held.
“Section 158(3) of the Constitution provides that polling in by-elections shall take place within ninety days of the vacancies occurring unless the vacancies occur within nine months before a general election is due to be held.
“The last general election held 2018 was held on the 31st July 2018. It is therefore, anticipated from a reading of Section 158(3) of the Constitution that general elections will be held on a date to be set during the month of either July or August 2023,” said Justice Chigumba.
“Members of the public are thus notified that the filling of vacancies that occur on or after the 1st of November 2022 will be suspended pending the conduct of the 2023 general elections.”
Meanwhile, Zec has set December 3, 2022 as the date to replace six recalled councillors in Binga Rural District Council, three from Gweru Municipality as well as one from Victoria Falls Municipality.
The recalled councillors from Binga RDC are Wilson Siampolomba; Kariangwe Ward, Mathias Mudenda; Simatelele Ward, Kingson Mpofu; Kalungwizi Ward, Joseph Mweembe; Sikalenge Ward, Chrispen Munkuli; Lubimbi Ward and John Sikabotu representing Siachilaba Ward.
Councillors Martin Chivoko of Ward Four Cleopas Shiri; Ward Five and John Manyundwa; Ward Six were recalled from Gweru Municipality and while a by-election will be held for ward eight in Victoria Falls where the MDC-T party recalled two councillors, Thuso Moyo of Ward Seven and Josepha Dzangai of Ward Eight.
“In relation to the election of the councillors for the said wards, nomination courts shall sit on Thursday, 3 November 2022 commencing from 1000 hours to 1600 hours at the offices of the chief executive officer for Binga Rural District Council for the purposes of receiving nominations of candidates for election as councillors for the vacant wards six, eight, 10, 15, 20 and 23 of Binga Rural District Council,” said the Zec chief elections officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana in his election notice.
He said for the Gweru municipality election, nominations will be received at the offices of the town clerk, with that for Victoria Falls’s Ward 8 also being received at the offices of the town clerk.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission fixes Saturday, 3 December 2022 as the day on which a poll shall take place if it becomes necessary in terms of Section 125 (4)(b) of the Electoral Act,” said Mr Silaigwana.