MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora has approached the constitutional court in an attempt to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to re-do the delimitation exercise and to stop President Emmerson Mnangagwa from proclaiming 2023 election dates.
The court application was filed with the Constitutional Court last Tuesday.
Delimitation is the redrawing of electoral boundaries to guarantee equal voting strength across the wards and constituencies.
In accordance with the constitution ZEC is supposed to conduct a delimitation exercise every 10 years. Resultantly, the commission carried out the delimitation exercise in 2022 and President Mnangagwa gazetted the final report on February 20, 2023.
Therefore, the new boundaries published in the delimitation report are supposed to be used in the 2023 elections.
However, Mwonzora has sort intervention form the courts to refrain Mnangagwa from announcing the election date for the 2023 elections until ZEC conducts another delimitation exercise.
The court applicant cites ZEC and Mnangangwa as first and second respondent.
“Applicants seek the leave for direct access to the constitutional court in an application they seek to declaratur to declare the delimitation report, prepared by the first respondent and gazetted by the second respondent on 20 February 2023, null and void on grounds that it does not comply with the requirements of S161 of the constitution of Zimbabwe; and
“Consequential relief for the first respondent to conduct a proper delimitation exercise and produce a delimitation exercise report that conforms to requirements of S161 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe; and
”Further consequential for the second respondent not to proclaim the dates of general elections before the first respondent submits a report that complies with the requirements of S161 of the constitution of Zimbabwe,” read the chamber application.
Election watchdogs such as the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and the Election Support Network (ERC) have in the past bemoaned the lack of transparency in ZEC’s delimitation process and further questioned the delimitation formula used to redraw boundaries.
ZEC is required to make sure that, no constituency has more than 20% more or less registered voters than other such constituencies.
However, the commission violated the 20% variance rule and some constituencies ended up with more or fewer registered voters than others by more than acceptable variance.