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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 13 JANUARY 2023 VOL 49 NO 11

  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Friday, 13th January, 2023

The National Assembly met at Half-past Nine o’clock a.m.

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DR. MAVETERA):  I have to inform the House that Parliament received communication from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) notifying the nomination of Nowedza Eulysses as a Member of Parliament for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, with effect from Friday, 6th January, 2023, to fill the vacancy that occurred following the death of Hon. Ophar Ncube.

Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the Member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule. Section 128 (2) states that the Oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament. I therefore call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the Oath of a Member of Parliament. 

NEW MEMBER SWORN

HON. NOWEDZA EULYSSES subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took her seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members! Do we want to chase each other out of the House – [AN HON. MEMBER: No.] – So, let us respect each other. This is a special meeting that all of us need to be involved in but if you continue talking, I am going to chase you out.

          (v)HON. MUSARURWA: On a point of order! I would like to seek clarity on the issue of the letter that was circulating on the social media, before Hon. Togarepi presents his report.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: The letter you are speaking about was an administrative issue and the Hon. Speaker has taken note of it and has dealt with it accordingly. 

          (v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Given the contents of the letter, surely Hon. Members deserve to know administratively as you may want to say, but I thought it is actually a matter of public importance.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much.  I am being advised here that this was a legal issue and Hon. Madhuku wrote to the Speaker as the head of Parliament, so he responded accordingly.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION 2022 PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE DELIMITATION EXERCISE

 

  HON. TOGAREPI: I move the motion standing in my name that this House considers and adopts the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Analysis of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise.

    HON. TEKESHE: I second.

      HON. TOGAREPI: Order of Appointment and Mr. Speaker’s Announcement:

On Friday, 6th January 2023, the Acting Speaker announced that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders had appointed the following Members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Analysis of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 2022

Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise:

  1.         C. Madiwa;
  2.        C. Mpame;
  3.        K. Musanhi;
  4.        Sen. T. V. Muzenda;
  5.        Sen. D. Mwonzora;
  6.        M. Ncube;
  7.         A. Ndebele;
  8.        D. Nduna;
  9.        Sen. Dr. D. P. Parirenyatwa;
  10.        Sen. Chief Siansali;
  11.        P. D. Sibanda;
  12.        D. Tekeshe and
  13.        P. Togarepi

          1.0 INTRODUCTION

On Friday, the 6th of January 2023, His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa summoned Parliament to sit to receive and consider the 2022 Preliminary Delimitation Report in terms of Section 110 (2) (c). The Report was tabled in Houses by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi. Consequently, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on the Analysis of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise.

The Committee was tasked to conduct a detailed analysis of the Report concerning the provisions of section 161 of the Constitution and present its findings and recommendations in the National Assembly and Senate on Friday 13th of January 2023. The report would form the basis for debate by the Houses on 17 and 18 January 2023. Parliament would then submit its Report on the findings and recommendations on the ZEC 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise to His Excellency the President by 20th January 2023 for onward submission to ZEC. These processes were to be completed within 14 days in terms of section 161 (8) of the Constitution.

This Report, therefore, is an outcome of the analysis by the Committee and contains findings and recommendations by the Ad Hoc Committee as mandated by Parliament.

          2.0 TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE AD HOC COMMITTEE.

The Ad Hoc Committee’s Terms of Reference are as follows–

  • To analytically consider the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise and that it complies with section 161 of the Constitution; and
  • To report its Findings and Recommendations to the National Assembly and the Senate on Friday, 13th January 2023.

          3.0  METHODOLOGY

During its work, the Committee conducted a review of legal instruments which are relevant to the delimitation exercise, and looked at the previous delimitation report for 2007/8. Given the technical nature of the delimitation exercise, the Committee engaged a consultant with expertise in delimitation issues and public policy. Furthermore, the Committee received oral submissions from ZEC to get an appreciation of how they conducted the delimitation exercise. The Committee also received written submissions from Members of Parliament on their concerns on the delimitation exercise. The Committee analyzed the Report together with the oral and written submissions and came up with a report for presentation to both Houses. It is critical to note that the Committee was working within a tight schedule as it had only seven days within which to discharge its mandate.

The Committee expresses its greatest appreciation to ZEC for the time and effort invested in this exercise and the expertise they continue to share. The Committee also expresses its gratitude to Members of Parliament, the Secretariat and the consultant, the people of Zimbabwe and any other stakeholders for their critical contributions towards the delimitation process.

          4.0 FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS

4.1 The Committee would like to acknowledge with great appreciation the work undertaken by ZEC in fulfilling its Constitutional mandate, considering that this was its first delimitation exercise after the enactment of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe. In its analysis, the Committee however, came up with key findings and observations which include the following:

  • ward boundaries that were delimited above and below the maximum and minimum thresholds,
  • insufficient information in descriptions of wards,
  • a highly complicated coordinate system,
  • unspecified map scale,
  • unlabeled wards,
  • topographic features not presented on the maps,
  • maps that do not show old and existing boundaries,
  • lack of justification on changes in boundaries in specific wards and constituencies,

(1) Polling stations not indicated on the maps,

  • use of preliminary census data; and
  • possible misinterpretation of the minimum and maximum threshold.

        4.1.1 LEGAL COMPLIANCE ISSUES

       4.1.1.1 Legal Provisions governing the delimitation exercise

Sections 160 and 161 of the Constitution and section 37A of the Electoral Act provides for the legal basis for the delimitation of electoral boundaries.

       4.1.1.2 Link between population census and the delimitation exercise

  • Section 161 (1) of the Constitution requires delimitation to take place as soon as possible after a population census. Population is a crucial consideration for delimitation and is listed in section 161(6) (f) as one of the factors to be considered in attaining equal number of voters in a constituency or ward. The population census contemplated in this section is the final census report. The Committee noted that ZEC considered the registered voters’ population and not the total population. According to the report, they only used the census preliminary report to correlate the registered voters’ population with the adult population. The use of the selective segment of the population census which is referred to as the adult population in the ZEC report is perceived to be a non-conformity to the constitutional values and principles enunciated in section 3 (2) (j) and (k) which relates to the equitable sharing of national resources, including land and devolution funds respectively. A population census measures the entire population including non-voters and children who are also affected by delimitation of electoral boundaries in respect of service delivery.
  • The Committee took judicial notice of the fact that the final census report is yet to be finalised and published, and acknowledged the impediment of COVID-19 pandemic as a factor that delayed the holding of the population census at the time it had been scheduled which had a bearing on the timing of the delimitation exercise. In light of this, the Committee noted that ZEC purportedly considered the available preliminary census report in an effort to comply with the constitutional obligation of delimitation.

     4.1.1.3 Distribution of Registered Voters to Wards and Constituencies

  • The Committee noted that the report shows evidence of violations of sections 161 (3) and (4) of the Constitution providing for equal number of voters in the boundaries of constituencies and wards. The Committee observed that this provision was not fully adhered to as there are instances where some constituencies and wards had more registered voters than others within the same province. A case in point is Binga District which had 70,988 voters but had the same number of wards with Tsholotsho District which had 38,619 voters, and Bubi District which had 33,295 voters.
  • In addition to the above, the report shows evidence that the considerations listed in subsection (6), such as the means of communication within the area, the geographical distribution of registered voters; community of interest as between registered voters, were not fully complied with. In order to give effect to the considerations, the subsection must be read together with the constitutional values and principles as well as national objectives and devolution provided in section 3 and Chapter 2 of the Constitution respectively.
  • The Committee noted that in the spirit of promoting and observing the principles of good governance that encompass transparency, justice and fairness, the report should have provided justifications for collapsing constituencies and wards. The Constitution in section 68 provides for administrative conduct or decisions that are both substantially and procedurally fair. Section 9 of the Constitution talks about good governance wherein Commissions and other bodies established by or under the Constitution should carry out their functions conscientiously, fairly and honestly. The collapsing of constituencies and wards affects the legitimate expectations of stakeholders who may be adversely affected by that decision. The explanation by ZEC during the oral evidence was that constituencies with fewer registered voters were collapsed to give in registered voters to the constituencies which had more numbers of the registered voters.

However, in some instances, the formula was not applied consistently as wards or constituencies with more registered voters were collapsed to boost numbers in wards of constituencies with fewer numbers. The case in point is Chikomba Central which had 16 611 voters which was collapsed to cede voters to Chikomba East and Chikomba West which had 14 240 and 30 187, respectively. A similar case was Gutu South with 18 645 voters which were collapsed to cede voters to Gutu Central and Gutu East which had 21 700 and 16 822 voters respectively. ZEC confirmed to the meeting that it was those constituencies with lower voter population which were being collapsed to meet thresholds in bigger constituencies.

       4.1.1.4 Consideration of Factors in Section 161 (6)

  • The Constitution requires that all factors listed in subsection (6) must be considered. These are namely, community of interest, means of communication, physical features, and geographical distribution of registered voters, existing electoral boundaries and population. This will also require stakeholder consultations of the affected voters. The Committee noted that the formula or criteria used as well as justifications of the decisions were not provided. The observation of the Committee was that there was possible misinterpretation by ZEC of the twenty percent variance provision in subsection (6) as some wards and constituencies ended up having a variance of up to 40%. This therefore, defeats the spirit of the Constitution in trying to achieve equality of voters. The Annexure to the Report clearly demonstrates how the standard deviation in certain instances was well above the 20 percent variance.
  • In applying Section 161 of the Constitution, ZEC had an obligation to take due regard of other Constitutional provisions such as Section 3 (2) (j) which provides for the equitable sharing of national resources, including land and section 264 (2) (e) which speaks to the equitable sharing of local and national resources. In addition, in terms of Section 233 (c), ZEC has an obligation to promote constitutionalism and ensure that injustices are remedied.

     4.1.1.5 Stakeholder Consultations

Section 37A of the Electoral Act requires stakeholder consultations. The Committee noted that stakeholder consultations were not fairly done considering that there are certain areas wherein key stakeholders such as traditional leaders were not consulted. Section 161(6) (d) of the Constitution provides that when dividing Zimbabwe into wards and constituencies, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must, in respect of any area, give due consideration to any community of interest as between registered voters. This issue of non-involvement of key stakeholders is drawn in areas wherein registered voters were moved from their traditional leaders. To this end, the Committee’s view is that if stakeholder consultations were widely conducted, the community of interest issues should have been avoided.

4.1.2    OBSERVATIONS MADE ON MAPS

(a)        Complicated Coordinate System.

The Committee noted that the coordinate system used by ZEC was too complicated for ordinary citizens to understand and interpret spatial data represented on the maps. It is the Committee’s considered view that ZEC had an option to use a simpler geographic coordinate system that represents location in terms of degrees, minutes, and seconds, such that users can simply enter the coordinates on Google maps to identify locations in their respective wards and constituencies. ZEC indicated that it used the Geographic and Projected system which is modern and also adopted by other countries in the SADC region. The coordinates on the maps are meant for experts while the descriptions were for use by the general public.

Whilst the coordinate system used by ZEC was in line with new models of mapping in the SADC region, ZEC should have considered other user-friendly methods which can be understood by ordinary citizens. In the Committee’s view, it was not prudent to prioritize regional benchmarks without considering the interest of citizens. We do not know whether the benchmarks that are being referred to by ZEC also extend to how electoral commissions must choose coordinate systems.

      (b) Map Scale Not Defined in the Description in Annexures

Section 161(12) asserts that if there is a discrepancy between the description of any ward or constituency boundaries and the map or maps prepared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the description prevails. However, ZEC neither provided any description of the scale in its report nor did it indicate or specify the scale on the actual map.

Therefore, it is within ZEC’s obligation to describe the map scale used in each map in their description. The absence of clarity on the map scale used made it difficult to compute average walking distances to get to the polling stations. For example, ZEC indicated on the maps that the maps were digitized from a scale of 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 but did not indicate the actual scale in which the data on the maps was presented. The Committee was unable to obtain clarification from ZEC on the specific map scale that was used.

      (c) Some Wards Defined in the Description but not Labeled on the Map

Section 161 (7) (b) of the Constitution asserts that, ‘after delimiting wards and constituencies, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must submit to the President, a preliminary report containing a map or maps showing the wards and constituencies. ZEC provided maps where some of the wards were labeled and some were not labeled, making it difficult for one to identify those wards that were unlabelled.

Due to limitations on scale, the coordinate system used and the absence of topographic features on the map, it was difficult to identify these wards using just the descriptions provided by ZEC. A few examples are in Mashonaland West, Hurungwe RDC that has 26 wards; five of them were not labeled and identified on the map. In Mashonaland Central, Guruve RDC and Mazowe RDC, four wards were not labeled and identified on the map by means of their ward numbers.

ZEC indicated that all wards have numbers, but in a case where a ward number is not appearing, it may be a question of placement. It may not be visible on a small map but would be visible on a separate blown out map.

(d) Descriptions refer to topographic features that are not reflective on the map - while Section 161 (12) of the Constitution provides that, ‘If there is a discrepancy between the description of the boundaries of any ward or constituency and the map or maps prepared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the description prevails.’ ZEC provided descriptions that referred to topographic features that were not indicated on the map, making it difficult to relate their descriptions with the physical features on the ground. For example, an excerpt of the description of Bulawayo Province, ward 8 says ‘In an area of land bounded by a line drawn from the intersection of Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Railway line and an unnamed stream at stand 32577 Entumbane Township (Entabeni Primary School) so as to exclude it …’ Without the topographic features on the map, the Committee’s analysis was limited to such descriptions.

A specific issue arises on how an ordinary citizen, reading such a description from Harare, would identify a railway line, an unnamed street, stand 32577 of Entumbane Township in Bulawayo when they have never been to such a place unless if three conditions were satisfied, that is, if such topographic features are presented on the map, if an ordinary coordinate system based on degrees, minutes and seconds allows them to obtain coordinates that can be used on Google Maps, and if the map scale is indicated on the map.

ZEC indicated that it produced thematic maps which relate to its function but for effective analysis, the thematic maps should be used in conjunction with topographic, hydrological and population maps. They however did not include the topographic features to avoid clutter on the maps. However, the Committee is aware of the overlaying of maps that do not create clutter as there are options for design and colour to make every feature easily visible on the maps. Annexure 2 to the Report clearly illustrates the previous ideal map which is more detailed than the ones produced by ZEC.

        (e) Population Density Map

Section 161 (6) (c) (f) asserts that in delimiting, ZEC must give due consideration to (c), the geographical distribution of registered voters and (f) its population. As part of its maps or descriptions, ZEC did not provide information about population density and distribution making it difficult to relate population figures, their distribution and how they affected specific boundary or polling station decisions. ZEC provided information that pointed to the fact that they considered preliminary results from the Census in analysing the relationship between population and registered voters.

      (f) Descriptions Refer to Polling Stations that are Not Indicated on the Map

The Committee found it important to compute average walking distances between polling stations, particularly in remote areas where there have been reports of long walking distances to the polling stations. Roads are a means of communication, and section 161(6) (b) provides that ZEC must give due consideration to the means of communication within an area. The descriptions provided by ZEC in its report refer to polling stations that are not indicated on the map. For example, in ward 1 of Binga North Constituency, in Binga RDC, ZEC argues in its report that there are eight polling stations, but only one is indicated on the map. There are many more examples that relate to this scenario.

Even though section 161 (12) provides for the supremacy of the description over the maps, insufficiently labeled polling stations make it difficult for any analysis to compute average walking distances within the buffer zones of polling stations. Walking distances are a means of communication, and ZEC also did not describe the physical features that affected the setting up of polling stations in certain areas with plateaus, national parks, or dams, etc. ZEC explained that polling stations were uniquely identified by using a polling station code system.

4.1.3      DRAWING OF BOUNDARIES (a)   Old, Existing Boundaries versus Proposed Boundaries

Section 161 (6) (e) mandated ZEC to give due consideration to the existing electoral boundaries. The maps or descriptions provided by ZEC did not give illustrations or descriptions of how old or existing boundaries were moved to the newly proposed boundaries. The Committee, in its analysis, found it difficult to relate to a new boundary description, or a new boundary on the map, without connecting them with the old or existing boundaries. For anyone to make sufficient comparisons between a new and an old boundary, they ought to understand the old and existing boundary.

The Committee noted that maps for previous delimitation exercises contained detailed information compared to the ones being proposed by ZEC. Some of these features included topographical features such as dams, rivers, mountains and geographic distribution of population. These features could have assisted in confirming the use of other factors espoused in Section 161 (6) of the Constitution. ZEC pointed out the need to avoid cluttering the maps and indicated that the old boundaries could be obtained in the 2007 and 2008 Delimitation Report. The Committee underscored the need to have superimposed the old and current boundaries over the proposed boundaries to provide justification for the new boundaries. In the current form, it is difficult to confirm whether Section 161 (6) was fully complied with.

      (b) Justification of Proposed Boundaries

The descriptions provided by ZEC appeared to the Committee as mere definitions of how the boundaries were drawn, but the descriptions do not justify why specific boundary changes were made, and other than just the statistical balance of figures, why such boundaries would make a better contribution to the country’s developmental agenda or that of local administration of societies. For example, a boundary drawn to protect a community of interest such as the communities and activities around ZCC Mbungo in Masvingo, platinum or lithium mining activity would provide such reasons as justifications in their descriptions. It was not helpful to the Committee’s analysis, and will not be helpful to citizens, to read a description that merely defines the location of a boundary in text, and does not explain why such boundary was adjusted from its original path.

ZEC pointed out that whilst the justification for new boundaries was not reflected on the maps, they however considered the old boundaries in determining new boundaries. They also pointed out that the justification of the proposed boundaries was included in the descriptions, but the Committee did not find the evidence of the justifications of why specific boundary changes were made.

ZEC also provided merely the description of wards, and not the description of ward boundaries as provided by the Constitution in Section 161 (7) (a) that says, ‘After delimiting wards and constituencies, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must submit to the President a preliminary report containing – (a) a list of the wards and constituencies, with the names assigned to each and a description of their boundaries.

This section clearly provides for the provision of the description of boundaries and just the list of wards, not the description of wards. Instead of providing the descriptions of boundaries for which changes were made, ZEC provided descriptions of all wards including those wards that were not affected by boundary changes. One such example is Chitungwiza municipality ward 17 that reads:

It is an area of land bounded by a line drawn starting from where Hadzinanhanga Road crosses an unnamed stream which separates Units J and K (296939, 8006442), then generally south-eastwards along Hadzinanhanga Road to its intersection with Mharapara Road, then generally south-westwards along Mharapara Road to its junction with new Chitungwiza Road, then north-westwards along New Chitungwiza Road to where it crosses an unnamed stream which separates Units J and K, then north-eastwards along the unnamed street to where Hadzinanhanga Road crosses it, the starting point. The area is bounded by the following Universal Mercator (UTM) zone 36 South (36S), based on the modified Clarke 1880 Spheroid (SA) coordinates:

296937.79, 8006447.13; 297473.62, 8006026.01; 296785.28, 8005545.76; 295290.66, 8005033.38; 294935.64, 8005549.40; 296532.36, 8006214.02.

4.1.4      POSSIBLE MISINTERPRETATION OF MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM THRESHOLDS

 (a) Wards Delimited Above Maximum Thresholds

Section 161 (6) asserts that ZEC may depart from the requirement that constituencies and wards must have equal numbers of voters, but no constituency or ward of the local authority concerned may have more than twenty per cent more of fewer registered voters than the other such constituencies or wards. The Committee noted that some wards were delimited above their thresholds.

(i) Manicaland

In Manicaland Province, Makoni RDC, Headlands Constituency, ward 8 was delimited at 3,231 above the maximum threshold of 3,185.

In Manicaland Province, Makoni RDC, Makoni West Constituency, ward 12 was delimited at 3 274 above the maximum threshold of 3,185.

In Manicaland Province, Makoni RDC, Makoni West Constituency, ward 13 was delimited at 3202 above the maximum threshold of 3,185.

In Manicaland Province, Makoni RDC, Makoni West Constituency, ward 16 was delimited at 3226 above the maximum threshold of 3,185.

(ii) Mashonaland East

In Mashonaland East Constituency, Marondera Municipality, Marondera Constituency, ward 9 was delimited at 3057 above threshold of 3051.

(iii) Mashonaland West

In Mashonaland West, Zvimba RDC, Zvimba East Constituency, ward 1 was delimited at 4,675 above the permissible maximum threshold of 3,912.

(iv) Matabeleland North

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange West Constituency, ward 2 was delimited at 2267 above the maximum threshold of 2211. ZEC also used a wrong maximum threshold of 2211 instead of 2188, but the wards were still above maximum threshold of both values.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East Constituency, ward 17 was delimited at 2213 above the maximum threshold of 2188.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East Constituency, ward 11 was delimited at 2390 above the maximum threshold of 2188.

In Matabeleland North, Tsholotsho RDC, Tsholotsho North, ward 8 was delimited at 2096 above maximum threshold of 2086.

In Matabeleland North, Victoria Falls Municipality, Hwange West Constituency, ward 4 was delimited at 2416 above maximum threshold of 2400.

(b)     Wards Delimited Below Minimum Thresholds (i) Manicaland

In Manicaland, Makoni RDC, Makoni West Constituency, ward 25 was delimited at 2111 below the minimum threshold of 2123.

(ii) Mashonaland Central

In Mashonaland Central, Bindura Municipality, Bindura North Constituency, ward 4 was delimited at 1559 below the minimum threshold of 1570.

(iii) In Mashonaland Central, Pfura RDC, Mt. Darwin West, ward 19 was delimited at 2028 below the minimum threshold of 2033.

(iv) Matabeleland North

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, ZEC used the wrong averages, and maximum and minimum thresholds.

For a population of 36,481 and 20 wards, the actual average was 1824 against the ZEC

  1. The actual maximum threshold is 2189 against ZEC 2211, and actual minimum is 1459 against ZEC 1474.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East Constituency, ward 8 was delimited at 1019 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1474 and the actual minimum of 1459.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East Constituency, ward 12 was delimited at 1411 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1474, and the actual minimum of 1459.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East Constituency, ward 18 was delimited at 1438 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1474 and the actual minimum of 1459.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East, ward 19 was delimited at 1294 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1474 and the actual minimum of 1459.

In Matabeleland North, Victoria Falls municipality, Hwange West Constituency, ward 3 was delimited at 1593 below the minimum threshold of 1600.

        (v) Matabeleland South

In Matabeleland South, Gwanda RDC, Gwanda South Constituency, ward 20 was delimited at 1524 below minimum threshold of 1585.

In Matabeleland South, Matobo RDC, Matobo Constituency, ward 14 was delimited at 1104 below minimum threshold of 1105.

      4.1.5 APPENDAGE OF SIGNATURES BY THE COMMISSIONERS

The Committee noted that there was a provision for Commissioners to append signatures but they did not proceed to sign off the document. This observation was made in view of the fact that the 2007 Final Delimitation Report was signed off by all Commissioners save for one.

4.1.6   GENERAL OBSERVATIONS   ON THE PRELIMINARY DELIMITATION REPORT

The Committee noted that previous delimitation reports contained sufficient detail in terms of descriptions compared to the current ZEC Report. ZEC could have maintained the same style which is user friendly for the ordinary citizens.

      4.2 SPECIFIC ISSUES WHICH REQUIRE CONSIDERATION BY ZEC

The Committee considered all the specific concerns raised by Members in relation to the delimitation exercise. The issues are provided as an Annexure to the Report and require consideration by ZEC before finalisation of the delimitation exercise.

      5.0   RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 The Committee recommends that ZEC should take due regard to the census population in its totality in the delimitation exercise and not just the adult population. ZEC was supposed to use the final census results. This is because wards and constituencies serve other purposes apart from elections, for instance, distribution of devolution funds and constituency development funds.

5.2 Where the factor of community of interest between registered voters was not considered, the Committee recommends that ZEC should revisit the factor and ensure that this is taken into consideration.

5.3 ZEC should ensure that there is equal number of voters in constituencies or wards as provided for in terms of Section 161 (3) and (4) of the Constitution. Where there was a departure from the permissible variance of lower and upper limit of 20%, ZEC should rectify and ensure that it remains within the allowable variance. When we met ZEC, they indicated that they were going to make those changes should they come from Parliament. They are amenable to making such changes.

5.4       Where collapsing of constituencies that had more voters was done to give in to those that had fewer voters, it is the Committee’s considered view that ZEC should use the same principle of maintaining those with more votes and collapse those with fewer voters.

      6.0     CONCLUSION

The Committee’s findings, in its analysis of the 2022 Preliminary Delimitation Report, provide a basis for its conclusion on the 2022 preliminary report on the delimitation exercise. While the Committee appreciates that it is not possible for ZEC to meet the expectations of all the stakeholders in this exercise, it is the Committee’s considered view that all the issues raised in this Report, particularly those that are inconsistent with provisions of section 161 of the Constitution, will be resolved before the finalisation of the Report on the delimitation exercise. As espoused in section 119 of the Constitution, Parliament has an obligation to protect the Constitution and ensure that the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, act constitutionally and in the national interest.

Annexure 1

 

Number

Constituency

Concern

1.

Chimanimani

East

Non-consideration of population Inadequate consultation

      Machukira Business Centre was taken from Ward 22 to Ward 12

      Ward 1 Cashel should remain under Chimanimani East due to community of interest such as irrigation and Cashel border post

      Ward 7 can be moved to Chimanimani West for equal distribution of voters to ward and constituencies

2.

Chimanimani

West

Ward 17 Biriri should remain under Chimanimani West because of geographic location and accessibility

3.

Insiza North

      Disregard of physical features

      Community of interest

      Distribution of registered voters into wards (Ward 7 and 13 of Umzungwane).

4.

Gutu South

Collapsing of Gutu South Constituency

      ZEC pointed out in its report that Gutu South was collapsed because it did not meet the required threshold to make a constituency yet none of the constituencies in Gutu District met the minimum required threshold at the time ZEC conducted the delimitation exercise save for Gutu West.

      Gutu South actually had more registered voters than Gutu East and Gutu North at the time ZEC conducted its delimitation. Gutu South had 18, 6453 registered voters, Gutu East 16, 822, Gutu North 15,359, and Gutu Central 21, 700. ZEC was supposed to abide by the principle of fairness and use similar formula which it was using in other provinces, constituencies and wards that those with low registered voters than the others in the same constituency or province would be collapsed to give in to those that had more registered voters as at the time ZEC conducted its delimitation exercise.

      Proposal is that ZEC should move wards 31 and 41 to Gutu South which were part19 of Gutu South prior to creation of Gutu East,

 

 

 

 

Central.

 

 

Alternatively, wards should be drawn from Gutu East which was part of Gutu South previously

 

 

Community of interest of the between registered voters in Gutu South was not considered as some registered under a certain Chief are now under two different constituencies.

5.

Bikita East

Unjustified movement of Musiiwa Polling Station from Ward 4 Bikita West to Bikita South Constituency. Musiiiwa Polling Station should be returned to Ward 5.

6.

Mberengwa

Unjustified movement of wards in Mberengwa to Mkoba

7.

Maramba

Pfungwe

(Zvataida RDC

Ward 7 polling station in Maramba-Pfungwe is being moved to Uzumba without due consideration to physical features.

The recommendation is for ZEC to consider the people from Ward 6 and Ward 17 which are closer to Ward 7 than transferring them to Uzumba Constituency

8.

 

Case of Ward 10 moved from Mutasa North to Mutasa Central

 

 

There is no justification based on the formulae used by ZEC to remove Ward 10 from Mutasa Central to Mutasa North

 

 

The difference between the total votes between the neighbouring constituencies is unjustifiably big, 6607 voters.

 

 

Taking ward 10 back to Mutasa Central will improve the situation by reducing the difference to 2585

 

 

Instead of Mutasa North having 13 wards and Mutasa Central 11 wards, they can both comfortably have 12 wards each

 

 

Rural wards are big and having a too big constituency is a disadvantage to the MP and the community (eg. CDF spread)

9.

Binga North

Concern over why ZEC did not create three constituencies in Binga North when the numbers allowed for the creation of three constituencies.

 

 

The total voter population was 81,118, and if three constituencies were created, the average constituency would have an average of 27,039 voters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The numbers are within the allowable threshold.

10.

Chegutu West

Concern over why ward 25 was moved to Chegutu East

 

 

Argument is that there was no need for ward 25 to be moved to Chegutu East. It served no purpose because both constituencies were within the thresholds.

 

 

Chegutu West has a total of 27,958 voters and Chegutu East has a total of 30,362 voters.

11.

Zvishavane-

Runde

There is a proposal in Runde RDC for wards 1,2,3,4 and 9 to be retained. ZEC is urged to move Hwani Village from ward 13 to ward 8, Hwande and Mugabe Villages from ward 2 to ward 1 Chikuni, Mafurire and Masuna Villages to ward 2, Ndebvu, Ndirishe and Dumbu from ward 9 to ward 4, and last moving villages 11, 13, 14 from ward 14 to ward 9.

 

 

Ward 18 with a 2118 voter population against a maximum threshold of 2116 should be retained as the two voter variance is negligible. Accordingly, the Baradzamwa Primary School polling station with 306 voters should not be moved to ward 16 which already meets the threshold.

 

 

Ward 8 Runde RDC has a shortfall of two voters. It has 1409 as opposed to the minimum threshold of 1411. The two voter variance is negligible. There is no need to move voters from ward 13, Welezi Primary School polling station to beef up voters in ward 8. Furthermore, there is no community of interest between voters in ward 13 and 8. There are two mountain ranges and two rivers between the two wards.

12.

Zvishavane-

Ngezi

Recommendation to move 10,000 voters from Zvishavane-Ngezi to beef up numbers in Mberengwa and create one constituency called Mberengwa-Zvishavane.

 

 

Concern that ZEC moved a polling station from Jeka Business Centre under Chief Mudavanhu to cross big Mwenezi River to ward 15 in Chegato area under Chief Mposi.

 

 

The issue of moved polling stations must be investigated by ZEC

13.

Nyanga North

There was no need whatsoever for ZEC to move either ward 8 or ward 27 from their original constituencies.

 

 

Ward 27, Nyanga RDC has 1,954 voters and ward 8, Nyanga RDC has 1,550 voters. Nyanga North Constituency is comfortably within thresholds at 28,100, and Nyanga South Constituency is comfortably within thresholds at 29,710.

14.

Bindura North

Recommendation is that section 161 (6) (a) indicates that when ZEC is dividing Zimbabwe into wards and constituencies, ZEC should give due consideration to Zimbabwe’s physical features and this was not abided by, for instance in wards 1, 2, 3 and 19 of Bindura RDC which have a physical feature of Ruya River. ZEC found it fit to delimit the wards 1, 3 and 19 to Mazowe Central Constituency and ward 2 to Mount Darwin West Constituency crossing Ruya River, a huge physical barrier that has been overlooked.

 

 

There is a record of people across Ruya rRver to aid voters from the aforementioned delimited wards to Mazowe Central and Mount Darwin West constituencies.

 

 

Wards must either move along rivers and roads, but must not cut across rivers, dams or mountains.

 

 

ZEC did not comply with the provisions of section 161 (6) (a)

 

 

ZEC must investigate and consider the physical features such as Ruya River.

 

I, therefore move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. With the indulgence of the House and yourself Mr. Speaker, I need to put it on record that we have a problem with our Members of Parliament in terms of them debating to this Preliminary Delimitation Report. In that regard, most of our Members, regardless of their willingness to debate, are being forced to go on virtual. Why? Because we have a challenge with Treasury and the Administration of Parliament, in terms of accommodation for Members of Parliament and that is a big problem.

So now with this position with regard to the report, Members are supposed to debate on the 17th and 18th. The challenge we have is that of network across the country because of the load shedding challenge which is a big issue. So Members have to come to the House and represent their constituencies and the people that voted for them so that they will debate physically. My prayer is for the Administration of Parliament, Treasury and our Hon. Minister of Justice to give us a clear commitment that our Members will be allowed to be in the House physically and debate on 17th and 18th. That is my prayer. Thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you for having raised that pertinent issue. We need to make sure that the Administration of Parliament looks into that issue and I do hope they are actually doing that and Members will be advised before the 17th. Thank you.

          HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, can I confirm points of clarities will be on Tuesday.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Twenty-one Minutes to Eleven o’clock a.m. until Tuesday, 17th January, 2023.       

 

 

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