Over 4000 Byo houses omitted in delimation report, claims Mwonzora

There are over 4 000 urban houses in Bulawayo that are not captured in the delimitation report, a demonstration of how flawed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s report is, MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora has claimed.

This issue is one of the exhibits that the MDC is using in its Constitutional court case to compel Zec to redo the delimitation exercise.

Mwonzora told journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Saturday that the party had problems with Zec’s boundaries, which were reflected in their legal challenge.

“We took a special interest in Bulawayo and we put the coordinates listed by Zec into a special computer. What we saw frightened us about Bulawayo. Remember Zec said Bulawayo lost a constituency on account of inferiority in numbers. We were very surprised that there is general rural-urban migration throughout the country and Bulawayo comes out as an audit and rare exhibit,” he explained.

According to Mwonzora, when the MDC looked at coordinates pertaining to Bulawayo, constituencies and wards, they found large areas in the city that are not within any boundary or ward.

“Our calculation is 4 200 houses, so these people are not in any constituency and not in any ward. They are just aliens of nothingness. As a result, we have 4 200 urban houses, which are not counted,” Mwonzora said.

“If we accept that this is an urban area and in one house, we may have more than one family, we are looking at almost a constituency. The constituency that is missing in Bulawayo is actually accounted for but these people (in the 4 200 houses) are not in any ward and in any constituency. We have been able to demonstrate that before the Constitutional court and if the case comes on merit, we are going to prove it.”

Mwonzora claimed the MDC was able to reproduce the map of Bulawayo, depicting areas that do not exist, and show how 4 200 houses were disenfranchised.

“We have taken coordinates which lead us to the Indian Ocean, some lead us into Antarctica and Antarctica is about 1500 miles from the coast of the Cape. This is outrageous and shows the incompetence in ZEC,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora’s concerns also come after the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) accused Zanu PF of orchestrating systematic and irregular transfers of voters from rural to urban areas.

CCC alleged the illegal voter transfer activities that were purportedly taking place, were facilitated by ZEC at the direction of the ruling Zanu PF party.

The MDC leader added that another contention was the naming of polling stations, which ZEC had not done but coded in its delimitation report.

“Polling stations must be named, now what ZEC has done in this delimitation is to give codes. For example, Madziwa Primary School where I vote is called 005CDC210 and we are expected to tell people that,” said the MDC leader.

Mwonzora also had issues with the gazetting of the delimitation report by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying it missed some information. 

“The delimitation report that the president gazetted has information which is missing. It refers to annexures a, b and c and those annexures are not contained in the report, so we have an invalid declaration. We cannot find a reason for that, either it is deliberate or sheer incompetence on the part of the people who did that.”

Mwonzora described this as faulty delimitation, saying the ZEC chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, used incompetent experts.

“We have to be fair with Justice Chigumba, she is not trained in that and she actually made use of experts from the University of Zimbabwe who did a poor job,” he said.

The MDC leader said it was also disturbing that Zimbabwe still did not have the official population census results.

“The counting was done last year in April and for one reason or the other, the government has not released the final results of the population census. Therefore, we don’t have official data on our own population,” Mwonzora said.

“How then can we demarcate the country? ZEC has said in their papers in court that they used the preliminary census results and we asked what does preliminary mean. Preliminary means provisional, temporary, and subject to change, it means something that is being done before something more important but in summary it means unreliable. ZEC also looked at the figures of adult population but in the constitution, we meant population, not adult population only.”

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