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Zec starts delimination exercise preparation

by Staff reporter
07 Sep 2022 at 06:40hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has started training its workers ahead of the delimitation exercise as the country prepares for general elections next year.

Delimitation, which is carried out after a population census and is provided for in Sections 160 and 161 of the Constitution, refers to the dividing of the country into constituencies and wards for the purposes of elections and involves coming up with a minimum threshold of registered voters in each of the country's 210 National Assembly constituencies.

The exercise could see constituencies with a low number of registered voters being merged with others while those with a high number could be split, subject to the number of registered voters.

The numbers of registered voters in each province will determine the number of constituencies.

Zec conducted phase 1 and 2 of the mobile voter registration in February and April this year ahead of the delimitation exercise.
The number of eligible voters, who registered for the first time during the second phase of Zec mobile biometric voter registration (BVR) blitz increased by 100 percent compared with those who registered in the first phase. The second phase of the voter registration blitz, which ran from April 11 to 30, saw a total 109 405 people registering to vote for the first time.

Matabeleland South provincial elections officer Mr Rabson Nyoni said preparations for the delimitation exercise were now at an advanced stage.

"We're going to attend the first workshop that the Commission has organised for its technical people. We're doing the very last preparations which is to capacitate our technical people from the provinces and districts. The training will run from today (September 6) up to September 15," said Mr Nyoni.

He said the training is meant to capacitate staff to handle different situations across the province.

"This is in terms of the interests of the stakeholders into the delimitation exercise, especially the aspect of electoral boundaries. We are supposed to demarcate wards and constituencies boundaries," said Mr Nyoni.

Section 161 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe obliges Zec to conduct delimitation of the electoral boundaries once every 10 years and soon after a population census.

For purposes of the boundary delimitation, the voters' roll was closed on May 30.
Voter registration shall, however, remain open for purposes of any by-election that may become necessary and the 2023 harmonised elections.

Mr Nyoni said there were some disputes over boundaries in the province and relevant stakeholders had to resolve them.
"At the time of delimitation, Zec will request boundaries for each local authority, boundaries of each district and boundaries of each province. We need to have a clearly defined boundary for each local authority which will help us know where the jurisdiction of each local authority starts and ends," he said.

"We also need to have a clear boundary of each province and district. The issue of boundaries is very sensitive as you will find two different local authorities or districts claiming that a certain area falls under their jurisdiction."

Mr Nyoni said for the purposes of the delimitation exercise, it is important for citizens to have full details of their address including the name of the street and suburb. He said some streets and suburbs remain unnamed.

"A major challenge we faced when we were delimiting in 2008 is that some roads, streets and suburbs did not have names. Stakeholders who have interest in the voter's roll are questioning why we have people with unknown addresses. When our suburbs and streets are not named there is danger that some people will be left out in development," he said.

In terms of Section 161 (7) of the Constitution, at the conclusion of delimitation, Zec shall produce and submit to the President a preliminary report.

The report shall contain a list of the wards and constituencies, with the names assigned to each and a description of their boundaries, a map showing the wards and constituencies and any further information or particulars which the commission considers necessary.

Source - The Chronicle