Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Justice Rita Makarau is reported to have written letters to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other ZEC commissioners notifying them of her intention to resign as the head of the electoral body. The weekly publication, the Zimbabwe Independent, reports that the reasons for Makarau’s decision are still unclear at the moment, although her intended resignation is linked to the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe and the defeat of the G40 Faction. The sources who spoke to the Independent said that Makarau’s deputy, Emmanuel Magede would take over on an interim basis until a substantive chairperson is appointed.
The opposition has called on Makarau to retire from ZEC on a number of occasions accusing her of being too close to Zanu-PF and former president Robert Mugabe in particular. She has also faced allegations of being “captured” by the Generation 40 (G40) Faction. Most G40 members have since been expelled from Zanu-PF with some of them being banned for life.
Some sections had also complained that Makarau had too many roles as she was allegedly drawing three separate government salaries: Justice of the Supreme court of Zimbabwe, Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Some legal experts also said that is was improper for Rita Makarau to hold dual roles as both ZEC chairperson and the secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) as there was an apparent conflict of interest between her two full-time jobs. Lawyer and spokesperson for the opposition PDP, Jacob Mafume once remarked:
It is an incestuous position that she is in and the honourable thing for her to do is to resign from one of the posts. There is so much conflict of interest
More: The Independent