Mwonzora seeks ConCourt order to force ZEC redo delimitation exercise
The MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora has filed a Constitutional Court application seeking an order to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to redo the delimitation exercise on the basis that it violates Zimbabwe’s constitution.
Mwonzora stated that the party’s application filed on Tuesday seeks to order ZEC to redo the delimitation exercise in accordance with the law, as well as the requirement that election dates be announced only after a lawful and valid Delimitation Report has been tabled.
“Contrary to what some people have said, this application is not meant to avoid elections at all. It seeks that elections must be held using a correct and valid Delimitation Report,” Mwonzora said on his Twitter page.
“This application is in the best interests of Zimbabwe. It is in the best interests of our great nation that for once we hold truly free, fair, credible and undisputed elections. This will unlock unfathomable and vast fortunes for our country and its people.”
Mwonzora’s comments come after some have questioned whether he is working on his own by bringing this legal challenge, given that if this application is approved, the national elections scheduled for July or August may be postponed.
However, Mwonzora argues that one of the issues, which have been used to justify the international isolation of Zimbabwe, is the country’s inability to hold free, fair and credible elections.
“A free, fair and credible election will undoubtedly remove this international isolation. It is incredibly important that our country rejoins the Commonwealth,” he noted, adding that “free, fair and credible elections are a big issue in this regard. An election that is based on a Delimitation Report that is patently unfair cannot itself be fair.”
The gazetted delimitation report is clearly invalid, said the MDC-T leader and cannot serve as the foundation for a free and fair election.
He added that even Parliament, consisting of legislators from all political parties, discovered severe flaws in this report, which were, however, ignored.
“The law requires ZEC to consider the population in doing delimitation. The population data is derived from the final census report,” Mwonzora said, noting it was regrettable that although Zimbabwe conducted a census early last year, the final results of the exercise were still not out.
“Faced with the absence of final census results, ZEC sought to rely on the preliminary census results. Preliminary means provisional, transitory,and subject to change. Therefore use of this information does not fulfill the constitutional requirement.”
Even when ZEC used the preliminary census results, the commission only took a segment of that population and not the total population, said Mwonzora.
“This was wrong,” he stated..
“The constitution provides that as far as possible, all constituencies must have the same number of voters. However variation is allowed provided that no constituency can have 20 percent more or 20 percent less registered voters than other constituencies.”
The MDC-T leader claimed in ZEC’s attempt to follow the 20 percent variance principle, the commission ended up applying a 40 percent variance.
“If one looks nationally then a total of 119 out of 210 constituencies have a voter population of more than 20 percent than others. This is found in eight out of 10 provinces. If one looks at variations per province, then a total of 51 constituencies have more that 20 percent registered voters than others. This is found in seven out of 10 provinces. In local authorities countrywide, in a total of 598 wards, this 20 percent principle is violated,” he explained.
“The MDC respects and stands for the true independence of ZEC. Where violations are identified, it is ZEC which must correct them. The anomalies we have identified fortify our view that delimitation must be redone.”