Parly starts hunt for Zec commissioners

HARARE - Parliament is inviting candidates to become new commissioners for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) whose mandate would be to steer reforms toward free and fair 2018 elections.

The committee on Standing Rules and Orders has called for the dissolution of the electoral commission whose mandate expires in March, and in this context asked members of the public to nominate suitable replacement candidates.

Members of the outgoing commission were consensus candidates agreed by then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President  Robert Mugabe during the subsistence of the GNU that ended with elections in disputed elections 2013.

The 2013 polls managed by the outgoing commission were dogged by so many problems that Tsvangirai’s main opposition party asked for the results to be thrown out.

In a notice yesterday, Parliament said the people nominated should be Zimbabweans chosen for their “integrity and experience and for their competence in the conduct of affairs in the public or private sector.”

“The committee on Standing Rules and Orders is hereby calling on the public to nominate persons to be considered for appointment to Zec,” the notice said.

“Current commissioners whose terms are expiring on March 31, 2016 and who have served one six-year term are eligible to be nominated for one further term as provided for in Section 238 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Nomination material must consist of a typewritten submission of no more than two A4 pages-long stating why the person nominated is a suitable candidate together with a completed nomination form which can be obtained at Parliament offices or downloaded from the website www.parlzim.gov.zw.”

Mugabe will then carefully consider proposals forwarded to him by the parliamentary committee.

Zec has been dogged by allegations of ballot fraud, but its head Justice Rita Makarau has rejected the accusations. In the wake of the 2013 vote, one member of the nine-member Zec, Mkhululi Nyathi, resigned citing doubts about the integrity of the results.

Other Zec commissioners included Joyce Leticia Kazembe, the deputy chairperson, Daniel Chigaru, Geoff Feltoe, who also resigned, Theophilus Gambe, Petty Makoni, Bessie Fadzai Nhandara and Sibongile Ndlovu.

Comments (3)

What is the point of having elections if they are not free and fair? What is the point of having the appointees vetted by the President - is that not like having the jackal guard the hen house?

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