Electoral Amendment Bill to be tabled in Parliament

HARARE - The Electoral Amendment Bill will be introduced in Parliament this week, setting the stage for the holding of watershed harmonised elections.

Obert Gutu, deputy minister of Justice and Legal Affairs deputy minister of told the Daily News that a Cabinet committee on legislation had met last week on Friday to discuss the Bill to be tabled in Parliament, which resumes sitting today.

“I have the details of the agenda on my table of a meeting on May 31. Assuming that committee completed their deliberations, we can expect the Bill to be brought before the House of Assembly anytime this week for debate,” said Gutu.

He said the Bill will focus on the proportional representation, Zebra system and provincial councils as well as clarify how elections are to be held.

The new Constitution introduces proportional representation for the first time as a permanent feature of Zimbabwe’s electoral system and how it will work in the Electoral Act in order to hold those elections.

“Proportional representation will be used to elect 60 Senators with, six from each of the 10 provinces,” Gutu said.

“There will be 60 seats in the National Assembly reserved for women members, six seats for each of the 10 provinces. Candidates for these seats will be elected by proportional representation. In the provincial council each council will have 10 members elected by proportional representation."

“In the Senate and provincial council elections, the party lists should have male and female candidates alternately, and they have to be headed by a female candidate using the Zebra system.”

Meanwhile, Gutu, who is also MDC Harare provincial spokesperson, said his was party was bound to respect the Constitutional Court ruling on Friday, which declared that elections should be held by July 31, but said it said its constitutional time lines were to be completed before the July deadline,

He said it was a “brutum fulan” as it is an order that can be complied with.

“We are supposed to abide by the Constitutional Court ruling but we have other issues like voter registration and inspection of the voter’s roll and proclamation of election dates and I am sure these events will go beyond July 31,” said Gutu.

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