Swearing in of President-elect falls on holiday

HARARE - Last Saturday evening, August 3, two days ahead of the Electoral Act’s five-day deadline, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Justice Rita Makarau, announced the result of the Presidential election and declared Robert Mugabe “duly elected as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe”.

The votes received by each of the candidates were: Mugabe — 61,09 percent, Tsvangirai —33,94 percent, Ncube — 2,68 percent, Dabengwa — 0,74 percent.

Mugabe is now President-elect. Under the new Constitution, the swearing-in must take place on the ninth day after last Saturday’s declaration by Zec, which is Heroes’ Day, Monday, August 12.

But, if an election petition challenging his election as President-elect has been lodged with the Constitutional Court within seven days of the official declaration of the Presidential result, by August 10, the swearing-in does not go ahead. 

If, as seems likely, there is such a court challenge,  MDC have announced their intention of doing so, as well as challenging the whole electoral process as invalid, Mugabe will continue as President-elect pending the Constitutional Court’s decision. 

The court’s decision must be given within 14 days, and if it confirms  Mugabe as the winner of the election, he must be sworn in as President within 48 hours of the court’s ruling.

But if the challenge is upheld and the election of the President is invalidated, a fresh election must be held within 60 days of the court’s ruling, and Mugabe, Tsvangirai and other members of the inclusive government would continue in their posts until the fresh election produced a result followed by a swearing-in.

Until the swearing-in ceremony takes place and the President-elect, by taking the oath of office, assumes the office of President, the new Constitution remains only partly in operation.

As soon as the assumption of office occurs, the remainder of the new Constitution will come into operation and the repeal of the former Constitution will become fully effective. 

Which is why the new Constitution refers to the date of the swearing-in as the “effective date.”

As soon as the President-elect is sworn in, the five-year life of the new Parliament will start to run.
Its first meeting must be within 30 days of the swearing-in day, on a date and at a time fixed by the President.

Also coming into effect on the day of the swearing-in will be Chapter 13 of the new Constitution, which makes all public prosecutions the responsibility of a new institution, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to be headed by a Prosecutor-General.

The current Attorney-General, if still holding that office immediately before the date of the swearing-in, will automatically be the first Prosecutor-General in terms of paragraph 19 of the Sixth Schedule to the new Constitution.

Reports suggesting the NPA is already in existence are legally incorrect, as are reports saying the current Attorney-General is tipped to be given the job, the new Constitution has given him the job already, if he chooses to continue as Attorney-General until immediately before the effective date.

It will, of course, be impossible for Johannes Tomana to combine the two posts thereafter, because they clearly cannot be held by the same person.

All 210 National Assembly constituency results have been announced, as follows: Zanu PF —159, MDC — 50, Independent — 1.

These figures are subject to change, depending on the results of recounts and possible election petitions, dissatisfied contestants have 14 days in which to lodge election petitions.

The allocation of these 60 seats among the participating parties has not yet been announced.

These seats, six for each province, are allocated under a party-list system of proportional representation, as detailed in the amendments to the Electoral Act.

Their allocation depends on the total number of votes for all National Assembly constituency candidates received by each of the participating political parties in a province. 

The allocations are not based on the numbers of National Assembly seats won by the participating parties in a province.

The Electoral Act makes the provincial elections officer responsible for deciding on the allocation of the party-list seats in his or her province, using the constituency returns received from the constituencies and following the rules contained the Eighth Schedule to the Act.

If, as a result of a recount or the setting aside of a constituency election result by the Electoral Court, the number of votes cast for a participating political party in a province is altered, Zec must have the allocation of party-list seats calculated afresh and, where appropriate, must alter the declaration of the successful candidates accordingly.

All 16 elected Senator chiefs have now been elected.  The eight provincial assemblies of chiefs met on July 3, at provincial centres and each elected two chiefs to the Senate.

The other two Senator Chiefs are the President and Deputy President of the Council of Chiefs, who are ex officio Senators.

The two Senators to represent disabled persons were elected by an electoral college that met in Harare on July 3.

Zec’s announcement of the allocation of the 60 party-list seats among the participating parties is still awaited at time of writing.

Press reports have claimed that the National Assembly constituency results already guarantee Zanu PF a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament.

Until, however, the party-list election results for the Senate and for the 60 party-list seats for women in the National Assembly are known, such claims are premature, because what really counts is a two-thirds majority of the total membership of each House.

The National Assembly has 270 seats in all,  210 constituency seats plus the 60 party-list seats reserved for women, so a two-thirds majority would be 180 seats.

The Senate has 80 seats in all, a two-thirds majority is 54 seats,  20 seats have already been filled, the two seats for representatives of disabled persons, and the 18 seats for Senator Chiefs.

There remain the 60 seats to be filled by proportional representation.

Reports have said winning a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament will enable Zanu PF to make any changes it desires to the new Constitution.  That is not entirely accurate.

All Constitutional Bills require two-thirds majorities in both Houses of Parliament. 

And that is all that is required to amend a great deal of the Constitution. 

But some Constitutional Bills cannot be presented to the President for his assent and gazetting as law until they have also been approved by a majority of voters voting in a national referendum.
The Bills subject to this additional approval by referendum are Bills that seek to amend any provision of:

If MDC decide to boycott Parliament, the two-thirds majority necessary for constitutional amendments remains unchanged, two-thirds of the total membership of each House, as stipulated by the Constitution.

Comments (16)

Welshman Ncube must be feeeling absolutely sick after he polled 2.68%. He fell flat on his face. There can be no coming back for Welshman. The problem is that Zimbabean politicians, the journalists and the people do not understand the political situation they live in. I just cannot understand how a politician cannot differentiate between a ZanuPF military dictatorship and a civilian party. How can MDCs win when they are pitted against ZanuPF military, ZanuPF police and ZanuPF militias? There's no way MDcs will ever win against a ZanuPF military dictatorship.

Chin - 7 August 2013

Mr tsvangirai said voting for ZANU PF wont bring food on the table i say to him making election petitions wont bring food on the table for the suffering Zimbabweans. You are fat and your wallet is fat as you receive from your sponsors, testimony is how much you spent on your wedding and honeymoon. you are already promising the nation a tough time ahead instead of doing something that will benefit the people so that you may win back their hearts. let me remind you that you and your party are not immune to BHORA MUSANGO. The coalition with other minor parties well after the party primary elections was your biggest self undoing. Baba jukwa whoever he is misled you to think that there was chaos in ZANU PF when in actual fact the party was buy oiling its machine. Allow u to focus on how we can feed our families, remember it is GOD in heaven who provides for his people and not a mortal human being. For now show how democratic you are by giving others the button to lead the party as well as challenge the wise old man. unoti mudhara haadi kusiya chigaro tione imwimwi akuru lead by example.

kriss - 7 August 2013

this is zim for sure

T1 - 7 August 2013

The struggle in Zimbabwe is a struggle of majority participation in politics. Currently the majority are totally excluded and its a fight of the few representing right and evil. For those representing the right, I advise that the masses should be included in in the entire process of campaigning and the final day of deciding who should rule them. Therefore the masses are asking that before the next election, they need to be given the tools and the power to start the campaign. Let us never expect freedom to be delivered in a dinner plate without tears and sweat. Thats not going to happen. Its unfortunate that Zimbabweans will have to go through pain once more but in that pain, the future of our children shall be born.

Ziziharinanyanga - 7 August 2013

If, you lost in an election, please do not blame others. The only correct and credible election is when MDC-T and Tsvangirai wins. If, he loses it is rigged this, rigged that, shame on you. Tsvangison easily forgets. In Bulawayo he told his supporters that he was in control of all rigging mechanism, he boasted that his intelligence informs him what Mugabe take for breakfast. Now, he does'nt even trust his ZEC commissioners. Tsvangirai is just an embarrassment to himself and the nation. He scandalizes institutions and individuals of high standing and this costs our reputation as a people.

zec vs Tsvangison - 7 August 2013

The fact that Mugabe refused participate in a pre-election debate Kenyan style ,when challenged by Morgiza,is clear evidence that he knew the outcome was pre-dertemine before voters went to the polls.He knew that the voters roll and the military had already put him in the driving seat.A genuine candidate propounds his policies to the public and you let them decide.Mugabe has no clue what to do with the economy.

Squarebasher - 7 August 2013

vanhu vezim kurai,fungai, chatadzisa nyika yedu zvese kukara mari kudarika nyika yako jona anokakarika senge anotaura chokwadi iko kuri kukara mari ,uyo Rita makarau akabiridzira mavhoti edu pamusaka pemari tikamusunga tikamutocha haatiudzi kuti zviizvaitika iyeyi.chandinokuyambirai vanhu vezim ngechekuti kana bhobho ari panyanga hapana chinombofa chakafamba zvese zvinosuvisa,UZ vharai mozoivhura2025,all colleges close them down vakapedza zvikoro izvozvo vanoendepi...kune dzimwe nyika no. no... siyai vanedzavo nhamo dzakavamirira imi zvenyu zvikoro vharai manpower yenyu isikushnda yakawandisa 85%.Ma USA dollars evanhu dzosai.Obama take out yours why are you inteferencing in the soverenity of others see all your observers were not allowed to monitor the election but they forget that you are assisting them they knew you were going to discover alot of shamfull rigging.The rigging were double voting, un known polling stations , stuffing the boxies, disfrenchising of to much voters in towns, stilling of voter reg certi and gave zunu pf supporters,intimidation etc this election must be nulified-null annd void 100%.imi vana Biti namukoma mese do not assumme anything to be good why why have intrusted SEC to ever run this erection alone how many times per day were they suppose to report to both principal varume musajutwe even this concourt is a partsan one lets hire other judges to look and try this election dispute concurently with other regional judges because the final out come will be compromised there is no professionalism in zim money matters see what makarau has done take dolote and touch interntional may they can they do all the forencic audit those people they will mean good business because they have good reputation to protect.if they recomment that to be okay i will instruct everyone not to buy news papers and quit politics

dofo - 7 August 2013

If you add 61,09 +33,09+2,68+0,74=98,45%.Can ZEC account 1,5% of the Votes.The total number of people who voted must add up to 100% and in this case its not.Is 1.5% of the unaccounted votes a margin of Error?

mbutumbutu - 8 August 2013

According to Tsvangirayi, in 2002 Mugabe stole the elections, in 2008 Mugabe did the same and for the third time in 2013 Mugabe has stolen the vote again. How can we then entrust the country's resources to a person who is always asleep while votes are being stolen and let alone by his fellow Zimbabwean who will look after us very well. What happens then if the resources are stolen by the British. I wonder. Unombobirwa uchiiteikon. Urikuvakadzi?

makombe makombe - 8 August 2013

Swearing in of the president "must take place on the ninth day", is it not within 2 days after the seven days set aside for the appeal, if there is any? Not so sure on this.

Mundamurefu - 8 August 2013

Tsvangison had a very busy term in office. Imagine handling all kinds of women of all kinds of shapes and sizes and from different countries, different political parties. Ah angozigone ndiyani from the likes of Ms Macheka, the beautiful Ndebele ladies, the South Africans, Zanu Pf daughters (loca)

madhaka - 8 August 2013

Madhaka, When Susan was there Tsvangirai was satisfied by his wife and what yu should know is that he was still looking for someone suitable to marry who is not a sell out. He is better than you who doesn't have any wife basa ngerekufemera makotsi evarume. MDC won since 2002 but you are not even shy of your dirty games. Statictically out of 10 people you meet, either 1 or 0 is for Zanu.

Boss - 8 August 2013

Mr. T once said '..he held the key to the elections' and Prof. M said 'he had changed the lock'..Now we should ask the two as to what happened and what's going to happen.I personally think that this country is full of liars or I actually do not know what to call them.

George - 8 August 2013

Thank you Mr Editor for this very educative articles.

Kambiri - 9 August 2013

@kriss uri mh*..a.hauna brain.do you think rigging will then bring food on your table?nonsense.

gulaz - 9 August 2013

@kriss uri mh*..a.hauna brain.do you think rigging will then bring food on your table?nonsense.

gulaz - 9 August 2013

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