ZEC did a disastrous job on delimitation: Biti

Harare East legislator, Tendai Biti has described as “disastrous” the manner in which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) conducted the 2022 delimitation of constituencies and electoral boundaries, urging the commission to reconsider its delimitation report.

The delimitation report, which has attracted widespread criticism, is currently being debated in Parliament with legislators making a cocktail of recommendations to the electoral management body.

According to the report, Matabeleland South is set to lose a constituency to Harare.

ZEC is accused of failing to adhere to the constitution in coming up with new electoral boundaries.

“I want to add the atrocities in Harare,” said Biti during the debate on the report Wednesday in the National Assembly.

“So for starters, the report says there are 45 wards in Harare when there are 46 wards. Once you start on that basis Mr. Speaker, watodzirasa, you are offside completely because you are doing guess.”

He further said: “Secondly Mr. Speaker Sir, when you divide the population of Harare which is 952 102 and you use that formula where you divide into 210, it means Harare must actually get 34 seats.

One of the anomalies in Harare is that you have got wards, the average councillor in Harare is representing 15 000 people. So the principle of equality is destroyed and destroyed completely.

He said the collapsing of Ward 46 in Harare East raises a lot of questions.

“Ward 46 which was totally ignored by ZEC,” decried Biti.

“I do not know what happened to it, it just disappeared. So you have got Ward 46 which disappeared completely then you are now left with Ward 9 and Ward 8. Ward 9 is Greendale and  Mandara area. Ward 8 which has 16 000 people consists of Highlands and Newlands. What does ZEC do in its wisdom or more appropriately in its lack of wisdom, they take Ward 8 and throw it in Harare South, Churu.”

In light of the anomalies in the ZEC report, Biti said: “So to be very polite, ZEC did a disastrous job and the chairman (of the ad hoc parliamentary committee on delimitation) was very soft in his report. It was very diplomatic in his report but the truth of the matter is that it was a disastrous report if the truth be told.”

The august House, Biti said, should resolve that ZEC must reconsider delimitation based on the issues raised in the parliamentary report.
“The starting point must be the population, the starting point must
be equality,” said Biti.

“Divide 5.8 million (registered voters) by 210, get 27 000 then you can play a bit now, just a bit on the 20% and 20% is not 40%, 20% is 20%.”

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