ZEC urged to fix constituency voter population 

Source: ZEC urged to fix constituency voter population – #Asakhe – CITE

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has been urged by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Analysis of the 2022 Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise to ensure that each constituency or ward has an equal number of voters, as required by Section 161(3) and (4) of the Constitution.

Where there was a deviation from the acceptable variation of lower and upper limits of 20 percent, ZEC should correct it and ensure that the constituency stayed within the allowable fluctuation.

According to the committee, where constituencies with more voters were collapsed to make way for those with less voters, ZEC should follow the same approach of keeping those with more votes and collapsing those with fewer voters.

This suggestion comes after the committee highlighted there was possible misinterpretation of minimum and maximum thresholds.

According to Section 161(6) of the constitution, ZEC may deviate from the requirement that constituencies and wards have an equal number of voters, but no constituency or ward of the local authority concerned may have more than 20 percent more or fewer registered voters than the other such constituencies or wards.

The committee did observe, however, that in Manicaland province, Ward 8 at Makoni Rural District Council (RDC) in Headlands constituency was delimited at 3 231 points above the upper threshold of 3 185.

In the same province, Ward 12 under Makoni RDC, Makoni West constituency was delimited at 3 274 above the maximum threshold of 3 185.

Wards 13 and 16 of the same RDC and constituency, was delimited at 3 202 and 3 226 respectively above the maximum threshold of 3 185.

In Mashonaland East constituency, Ward 9 under Marondera Municipality, Marondera constituency, was delimited at 3 057 above threshold of 3 051.

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

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange West constituency, Ward 2 was delimited at 2 267 above the maximum threshold of 2 211.

The committee noted that in this Ward 2 ZEC also used a wrong maximum threshold of 2 211 instead of 2 188, but the wards were still above the maximum threshold of both values.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East constituency, Ward 17 was delimited at 2 213 above the maximum threshold of 2 188.

Ward 11 of the same Hwange RDC in Hwange East constituency, was delimited at 2 390 above the maximum threshold of 2 188.

At Tsholotsho RDC, Ward 8 in Tsholotsho North was delimited at 2 096 above the maximum threshold of 2 086.

Ward 4 under the Victoria Falls municipality in Hwange West constituency was delimited at 2 416 above the maximum threshold of 2 400.

The committee said wards delimited below minimum thresholds were also seen in Manicaland, Makoni RDC, and Makoni West constituency, where Ward 25 was delimited at 2 111 below the minimum threshold of 2 123.

In Mashonaland Central, Bindura Municipality, Bindura North constituency, Ward 4 was delimited at 1 559 below the minimum threshold of 1 570.

In the same province, Ward 19 of Pfura RDC under Mt. Darwin West was delimited at 2 028    below the minimum threshold of 2 033.

The committee said 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 1 824 against the ZEC 1 842. The actual maximum threshold is 2 189 against ZEC’s  2 211, and actual minimum is 1 459 against ZEC’s 1474,” read the report.

In Matabeleland North, Hwange RDC, Hwange East constituency, Ward 8 was delimited at 1 019 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1 474 and the actual minimum of 1 459.

Ward 12 of the same Hwange RDC in  Hwange East constituency was delimited at 1 411 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1 474 and the actual minimum of 1 459.

The same was seen in Ward 18 at Hwange RDC which was delimited at 1 438 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1 474 and the actual minimum of 1 459.

Ward 19 was also delimited at 1 294 below the ZEC minimum threshold of 1 474 and the actual minimum of 1 459.

Ward 3 of Victoria falls municipality, Hwange West constituency was delimited at 1 593 below the minimum threshold of 1 600.

In Matabeleland South, Gwanda RDC, Gwanda South constituency, Ward 20 was delimited at 1 524 below minimum threshold of 1 585.

At Matobo RDC, Matobo constituency, Ward 14 was delimited at 1 104 below minimum threshold of 1 105.

This report by the Ad Hoc Committee would form the basis for debate by the National Assembly and Senate on January 17 and 18, 2023.

Parliament would then submit its Report on the findings and recommendations on the ZEC 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise to President Emmerson Mnangagwa by January 20, 2023 for onward submission to ZEC.

These processes were to be completed within 14 days in terms of section 161 (8) of the Constitution.

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