Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has categorically denied allegations that she is involved in a sexual relationship with any of the presidential candidates contesting the July 30 elections. This followed allegations which were posted on microblogging site Twitter, by former Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi. Kudzayi alleged that Chigumba is involved in sexual relations with one of the candidates which raised questions about Chigumba’s impartiality due to a potential conflict of interest. Kudzayi also alleged the story has not been published by other people due to fear. Writing on Twitter, Kudzayi said,
Justice Chigumba must resign from her position at ZEC. While her privacy must ordinarily be respected, there is a strong public interest argument in this instance where a private sexual relationship fetters the discretion of a judge. I will publish the full story on Wednesday.
…A conflict of interest is by definition a matter of public interest…If the referee is having sex with one of the players that is a conflict of interest. Simple as that.
In an interview with media personality Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa on Capitalk 100.4 FM on Monday night when she was asked if she was involved in a private sexual relationship that compromises her independence, Chigumba said that even though her private life should ordinarily remain private, she was going to respond to the allegations. Said Chigumba,
What I want to categorically state is, firstly my private life is my private life and it should remain exactly that, private. I will answer your question directly, I am not in any sexual relationship or any relationship whatsoever which has the potential or is likely to jeopardise my ability to discharge my functions. To answer you very explicitly; I am not in a sexual relationship with a presidential candidate.
Chigumba also reiterated claims that the two column presidential ballot papers were the best choice available to the electoral commission due to budgetary constraints.
After the interview, Kudzayi took to social media and acknowledged that by saying that she was not involved with a presidential candidate, Chigumba was telling the strict truth. However, he said that the person in question was actually a cabinet minister in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration. Said Kudzayi,
Chigumba is telling the truth that she is not in a relationship with a presidential candidate. I never mentioned a “presidential” candidate. Her lover is a married cabinet minister. Let’s talk on Wednesday tipedze nyaya yacho. (Let’s talk on Wednesday to conclude the matter)
Related article, Video: Zec Chair Priscilla Chigumba’s Full Interview With Ruvheneko
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Justice Priscilla Chigumba is a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe and the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Justice Chigumba succeded Justice Rita Makarau as the chairperson of ZEC. Chigumba was appointed the chairperson of ZEC on 31 January 2018. Read More About Priscilla Chigumba
Edmund Kudzayi (born 8 December 1986) is a Zimbabwean journalist and media professional. He is a former editor for the state run weekly newspaper the The Sunday Mail where he was appointed by then Minister of Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo. He is mostly known... Read More About Edmund Kudzayi
Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa is a Zimbabwean radio personality, Master of Ceremony (MC) and a youth activist known mostly for her hard-hitting interviews with guests on her former radio show with ZiFM Stereo. Ruvheneko currently hosts her own self-titled show on YouTube which resumed in June 2019.... Read More About Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa