Makarau defends dual roles

HARARE - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Rita Makarau – who also serves as the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) secretary – has defended her dual roles amid growing concerns of conflict of interest and accusations of "double dipping".

Makarau had been queried over her occupation of the two positions by outgoing chief justice (CJ) Godfrey Chidyausiku during interviews to recruit his successor.

Chidyausiku asked her that in "serving as chairperson of Zec, judge of the Supreme Court, secretary of the JSC, are you not being a bit of a bambazonke?”

"Not at all," Makarau said, adding that "the decision lies with the appointing authority (President Robert Mugabe) whether to remove me from any of the positions or not."

In another follow up question, Chidyausiku said Makarau was facing allegations of collecting salaries from both the JSC and Zec, but she said the best person to answer would be Mugabe, as the “decision lies with the appointing authority.”

Makarau went on to decline that if she was to assume the CJ post, it would create a crisis at the electoral commission which is in its homestretch in so far as setting up the 2018 electoral system is concerned.

“It has been done before. When I joined Zec on the 12th of March, the country was going to a referendum on the 13th of March, so it has been done before and someone can replace me and be equally competent,” she said.

In previous queries from the press and opposition, Makaru said she did not see anything wrong with her occupying the two posts.

She said she would not quit any of her posts as she did not see any conflict of interests.

“I do not see the conflict of interest being talked about. If I had seen that conflict, believe me, I would have stepped down… I do not believe that I am compromised and will not step down because I do not see the compromise,” Makarau said in November.
Political parties under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) have in the recent past been leading protests to push the Zanu PF government into implementing electoral reforms and also gunned for Makarau, who they say is holding two conflicting positions.

Among the electoral reforms that opposition political parties have been clamouring for are the demilitarisation of Zec, which they allege is packed with security agents as well as an announcement of a clear road-map to the next election by the electoral commission.

Comments (12)

Makarau is in Mugabe's pocket and we should have laws that allow the scrutiny of income and bank statements. She defends corrupt practices and you wont go far before you unearth some incriminating evidence. Chidyausiku was worked with her and I think he knows a lot that goes behind the scenes.

jairosi - 15 December 2016

It is very strange to hear somebody saying - 'If I see a conflict of interest i will be the first to say it'. One Dictator said - 'Once I realise I'm a dictator, I will be the first to say it'. Sounds weird. Mrs Makarau - You cannot see your weakness, it is others who can see it. You will be a very dangerous Chief Justice. I pray that you fail this interview. I know that you are a better evil than Chiweshe but you certainly have no credentials of a Justice. Your credentials fit you as an MP (Honourable) - although I know there is nothing honourable about you as a person.

Dingiswayo - 15 December 2016

This is very self very and greed that a person can want to do all jobs in the country when we have a lot of other people looking for jobs . Right now she is not convincing in her other jobs she still wants another job on top of that The fact that she is always saying Mugabe is the one who appoints her it clearly sounds she will obvious be loyal to him so he can always appoint her again and again this is totally nonsense .

Diibulaanyika - 15 December 2016

Very good question from the outgoing Chief Justice. Sounds as if she is unable to make a decision independent of Mugabe? Not someone we needs as the country's chief justice.

david taylor - 15 December 2016

The fact that Rita refers al the questions to her appointing authority,gushungo speaks volumes about her own capability.Surely do you need the appointing authority to know that.When asked by Chidyausiku that is she not being a bambazonke in being chairperson ofZec,supremo court judge and JSC secretary she first say "not at all" and goes on to say "the decision lies with the appointing authority"Which is which Rita?Are you saying even if the old dictator gives you three or four more jobs the decision still lies with"the appointing authority?So you have no moral ground to tell him that you can't cope?To think that this thin minded lady is actually vying for the top judge job when she can't even give a reasonable judgement of her own jobs?

Janana wa Bikaz - 15 December 2016

The fact that Rita refers al the questions to her appointing authority,gushungo speaks volumes about her own capability.Surely do you need the appointing authority to know that.When asked by Chidyausiku that is she not being a bambazonke in being chairperson ofZec,supremo court judge and JSC secretary she first say "not at all" and goes on to say "the decision lies with the appointing authority"Which is which Rita?Are you saying even if the old dictator gives you three or four more jobs the decision still lies with"the appointing authority?So you have no moral ground to tell him that you can't cope?To think that this thin minded lady is actually vying for the top judge job when she can't even give a reasonable judgement of her own jobs?

Janana wa Bikaz - 15 December 2016

Makarau is not convincing at all. Her utterances when she responds to pertinent questions reveals her serious shortcomings and sheer unsuitability for the posts she holds. Now come to think of her person vying for post of Chief Justice which she may land on a platter from the President--my foot!!

Vusumuzi wako Mange - 15 December 2016

If the "appointing authority" asked you to point a loaded gun at your head what would you do Rita? I'll ask again is logic part of Law studies? Some don't seem to have it.

Sagitarr - 15 December 2016

Rita is double dipping because she is rubbing shoulders with the thugs

Kpw - 15 December 2016

Sounds like someone makes decisions for her

dankay - 15 December 2016

Is Rita G40 or Lacoste?

Dzvuke Muchaina - 16 December 2016

APPOINTING AUTHORITY is a catch phrase lately. 1)The president cannot remove her from her position as a supreme court judge without there being a tribunal following any alleged acts of misconduct on her part-therefore the APPOINTING AUTHORITY CANNOT JUST DIS-APPOINT HER! She can however resign for whatever reason. 2) As for her ZEC post the APPOINTING AUTHORITY can perhaps remove her anytime (i stand corrected if i am wrong here) and 3) does her JSC position have anything to do with the APPOINTING AUTHORITY? Remember the appointee has a clear right to decline ANY appointment including that done by the APPOINTING AUTHORITY!! So Rita stop hiding behind a finger!

Ephraime - 16 December 2016

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