A data analysis group, Team Pachedu has suggested for the disbandment of the current electoral management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to guarantee undisputed elections.
The recommendation to dissolve ZEC was put forward by Team Pachedu in the ABRIDGED AUDIT ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION 2022 PRELIMINARY DELIMITATION REPORT released by the pressure group last Wednesday.
In the report Team Pachedu highlighted numerous irregularities inclusive of lack of transparency, unavailability of the voters roll used in the delimitation exercise, gerrymandering, ghost constituencies and duplication of polling station identification codes.
Elections held in Zimbabwe have been disputed due to various reasons inclusive of; uneven playing field, rigging claims, violence.
Additionally, ZEC has been charged with serving the interests of the ruling ZanuPF by opposition political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs).
Zimbabwe is set to hold harmonized elections between July and August this year.
Preceding these elections was the delimitation exercise carried out by the commission.
The delimitation exercise is the redrawing of electoral boundaries in order to ensure voting equality amongst wards and constituencies.
According to the 2013 constitution, the delimitation exercise is to be carried out every ten years after a census.
Since the enactment of the constitution this becomes the first delimitation exercise in Zimbabwe.
ZEC handed over the preliminary delimitation report to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December last year.
The report has been analysed by the parliament and president and recommendation handed over to ZEC.
Concerns Raised By Team Pachedu
However, Team Pachedu maintains that the the only way Zimbabwe can have undisputed elections is by dissolving ZEC or instituting reforms at the electoral management body.
“The elephant in the room has always been the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“ZEC is the custodian of our democracy and ought to be run by competent Commissioners and employees who hold the highest respect for Zimbabweans, and the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe deserves an electoral management body whose employees exude the highest levels of professional ethical conduct.
“Sadly, this has not been the case as the commission is failing to be transparent and independent.
“The current delimitation leaves Zimbabwe in an impasse of either embracing a shambolic new delimitation or reverting back to the 2008 sham delimitation.
“We strongly recommend that to stop this never-ending cycle of disputed elections, and to ensure that future electoral processes at ZEC are conducted fairly, transparently, professionally and constitutionally, every Zimbabwean should call for the current electoral commission to be held accountable for their professional malpractice and for their urgent resignation, disbandment or otherwise for a referendum on the urgent need for extensive structural reforms at ZEC. Unless ZEC reforms, disputed elections will never end,” read the report.
Calls for the dissolution of ZEC date back to the time when the commission was led by the Justice Rita Makaru in 2015.
The calls were prompted by the commissions failure to avail the voters roll that had been used for the 2013 harmonized elections.
Eight years later under the leadership of Justice Priscilla Chigumba the commission is being criticized for failing to provide the voters roll used in the 2022 delimitation exercise.
Stakeholders were left to analyze the preliminary report without the voters roll.