Possibility of Mat’land losing some constituencies high: ZESN

The possibility of Matabeleland losing some of its constituencies during the ongoing delimitation of constituencies and electoral boundaries owing to the low number of registered voters is high, the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) Matabeleland regional officer, Ndodana Ndlovu has said.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is currently carrying out the delimitation exercise which is set to be concluded on December 31 ahead of next year’s crucial synchronised polls.

Matabeleland region has a total of 38 constituencies – Matabeleland South (13), Bulawayo (12), and Matabeleland North (13).

According to statistics released by ZEC as at June 10, the three Matabeleland provinces have the least number of voters compared to seven other provinces in the country.

Matabeleland South at 267, 308 is at the bottom, followed by Bulawayo which has 270, 914 registered voters, and Matabeleland North at 340, 405.

Harare has the highest number of 952, 520 voters followed by the Midlands at 763,028 and Manicaland at 738, 627.

Zimbabwe has a total of 210 constituencies.

“Looking at the performance of the registered voters in Bulawayo and Matabeleland in general there are high chances that some of the constituencies in Matabeleland will be moved to other areas where people registered in their numbers because the 210 (constituencies) is constitutional and it has to remain 210,” said Ndlovu Friday on Breakfast Club, an online programme hosted by CITE.

“There is mathematics that they play around with to say for you to get the number of registered voters per constituency or to establish what we call a constituency they divide the number of registered voters and as things stand now, I think we have around 5.8 million plus and thereabout that had registered by 30 May and they divide that number by 210. So roughly you would get something like 27, 000 thereabouts. I didn’t actually do the calculations specifically, meaning that a standard constituency will have about 27, 000 people.”

He elaborated that according to the law the electoral management body is allowed to vary the figures.

“ZEC is allowed to vary 20 percent downwards and 20 percent upwards so that roughly there is about a minimum of around 21, 000 to a maximum of 32, 000 or so registered voters that constitute a constituency,” he said.

“So if you look at the number of registered people in Bulawayo that had registered by the 30th of May, for now they are about 270, 914 thereabouts. So, what it means is that if you divide that by 27,000 your answer should be around 9 to 10 constituencies.

He added: “It might depend on some other variables but the 12 we might not be able to get and those that would have been taken away from Bulawayo, you know Harare has greatly registered people so maybe they are moving to Harare or other provinces.”

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