President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on Friday, 17 February expected to gazette the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) final delimitation report.
The Constitution mandates the President to gazette the delimitation report within 14 days after receiving the final version of the document from ZEC.
Speaking to NewsDay on Thursday, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) chairperson Andrew Makoni said that if Mnangagwa fails to gazette the delimitation report, he would have violated the national Constitution. Said Makoni:
Once the President is handed the final delimitation report, he has 14 days to publish a proclamation in the Gazette declaring the names and boundaries of the wards and constituencies as finally determined by ZEC.
The law makes no provision for a second preliminary report. If what the President received is a final report then he has until the 17th of February to publish it.
Failure to publish it will be a violation of section 161(11) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Election Resource Centre legal and advocacy officer Takunda Tsunga said:
The lapsing of the 14 days would mean it has to be gazetted or the President would be in an unfortunate breach of the Constitution.
The lapsing would set a terrible precedent for this year’s 2023 harmonised elections as the Constitution is the guiding tenet for free and fair elections.
The ERC [Election Resource Centre] will look at all legal avenues to ensure compliance.
Zimbabwe Election Advocacy Trust executive director Ignatious Sadziwa said:
If the ructions that we have witnessed for the past month are anything to go by, we are most likely to have no delimitation exercise taking place.
According to the Constitution, we will have to revert to the 2007/8 boundaries.
This is a very unfortunate development that has a ripple effect on electoral integrity and credibility.
Team Pachedu said if Mnangagwa fails to gazette the Final Delimitation Report in line with Section 161(11) of the Constitution, he can be impeached.
ZANU PF activist Tonderai Chidawa challenged the constitutionality of the draft of the ZEC delimitation report at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).
The ConCourt has set 26 March for the hearing of Chidawa’s court challenge to the ZEC report.