Which is Which: Veritas Zimbabwe and ERC issue conflicting analyses on Youth Quota

''So how can these people be constitutionally elected? The simple answer is that they can’t''-Veritas Zimbabwe "Therefore, the women's and youth quota will be implemented based on section 124 of the Constitution''-ERC

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Which is Which: Veritas Zimbabwe and ERC issue conflicting analyses on Youth Quota
Which is Which: Veritas Zimbabwe and ERC issue conflicting analyses on Youth Quota

Which is Which: Veritas Zimbabwe and ERC issue conflicting analyses on Youth Quota #ElectionsZW

Implementation of the Youth Quota that was created through Constitution Amendment No.2 has been mire in confusion as legal Watchdog Veritas Zimbabwe and Election Resource Centre have issued conflicting analyses. 

According to Veritas Zimbabwe in its Election Watch (14/2023) series released on the 1st of June, there is no way of electing people for the Youth Quota as well as the women’s quota in local authorities as that is not provided for under the current Electoral Act.

“This has several awkward consequences, as we shall explain below.

1. Women and youths cannot be elected.

Under section 124 of the Constitution, as amended in 2021:There must be an additional 10 youth members of the National Assembly, one from each province [section 124(1)]

Of the 60 women members of the National Assembly elected on a party-list system, 10 must be youths and some must be persons living with disabilities [section 124(1)]

Provincial and metropolitan councils must each have 10 members elected on a party-list system of proportional representation [section 268]

All these people must be elected in accordance with the Electoral Law.

The Electoral Act does not provide for the election of any of these people. The Electoral Amendment Bill would have done so but it cannot be used for the election and nor can any other law that may be enacted between now and polling day.  

So how can these people be constitutionally elected? The simple answer is that they can’t, but if they are not elected then the National Assembly and all provincial and metropolitan councils will not be properly constituted,” read the Veritas Election Watch.

However, the Elections Resource Centre (ERC) in a statement highlighted that the seats can easily be elected using Section 124 of the Constitution.

“While the proposed Amendments in the Electoral Amendment Bill will not be applicable to the current election, Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 2) Act, 2021 extended the 60 proportional representation seats reserved for women and added an additional 10 proportional representation seats for youth. 

“Therefore, the women’s and youth quota will be implemented based on section 124 of the Constitution, with the Commission expected to provide the prescribed format in which the nominations for the youth quota will take place,” read the ERC statement. 

The confusion is due to President Emmerson Mnangagwa‘s decision to proclaim elections before the Electoral Amendment Bill was passed. 

According to section 157 (5) of the Constitution, after an election has been called, no change to the Electoral Law or to any other law relating to elections has effect for the purpose of that election. Therefore, the proposed amendments in the current Bill and any future attempts 

The Bill is in the National Assembly and recently got a non-adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

A non-adverse report means that the Bill is not in conflict with the Constitution and can go ahead.

Which is Which: Veritas Zimbabwe and ERC issue conflicting analyses on Youth Quota #ElectionsZW

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