The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Douglas Mwonzora has filed an urgent application seeking an order to compel President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh delimitation process before the country holds harmonized elections.
According to Lloyd Damba, MDC-T presidential spokesperson, the party says it is worried that the delimitation process that was conducted by ZEC is fundamentally-flawed as constituencies don’t have the same number of voters while there are no proper names for polling stations.
Damba told VOA Zimbabwe Service that if the court finds that Mnangagwa, ZEC and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi broke the law, this would result in the postponement of the forthcoming general elections.
“As a party we made a resolution that we don’t agree to the delimitation report. We don’t subscribe to it and the reason being they did not follow provisions of Article 161 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which clearly states that there should be a threshold of approximately 20% among each and every constituency. Now if you check the delimitation that was done, in some constituencies there are 50,000 (voters), 43,800 and others 22,000, 19,000, 27,000. The variance is 67%.
“Secondly, they are not identifying polling stations with names like Zengeza 5 Primary School Polling Station, Mubaira Secondary School Polling Station, Gokwe-Sengwayo Polling Station . They are just giving coordinates 260989, plus this and that. But if you go to these coordinates and punch in the computer, to those that can afford to do that, coordinates take you to the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Jupiter, Mars and so forth. Now, do you think senior citizens like Joseph’s father living in rural areas can manage to do this? Studio 7 reporters should check and see if they can manage to follow this …”
He further noted that his party is aware that the delimitation was done 15 years ago by the Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede.
Damba said, “We were in disagreement with Mudede in the way he was drawing constituencies. So they cannot go back and say they want to use those old delimitation boundaries again. Why? Because they are 15 years old … A lot of things have changed since the first delimitation.”
He noted that they are now waiting for a trial date and judge and the case has a huge impact on the holding of this year’s elections.
“… We want the delimitation process to be redone and no elections must be held in this country until and when another delimitation process is done. So, if it takes us 10 years or 20 years, it has to be a correct delimitation process because what we don’t want to do it to go into another disputed election. We can’t afford to do that as a country … We are saying any election that is credible must be held with a new delimitation process, with a new delimitation report. Even if it takes us 10 years, it’s OK as long as that election is not contestable because Zimbabwe has been living in an election mode two days after every election.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba, Information Secretary Nick Mangwana, Ziyambi and ZEC officials were unreachable as they were not responding to calls on their mobile phones.
Mnangagwa gazetted the new ward and constituency boundaries a couple of weeks ago following the submission of a final delimitation report to the presidium by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Parliament of Zimbabwe voiced concern over the delimitation report before it was submitted to the president.