POLITICAL parties in Masvingo province and locals have accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of implementing the delimitation exercise without considering their input.
This comes at a time when the electoral body is convening final delimitation consultative meetings in the province to inform stakeholders on how delimitation will be implemented.
Masvingo will maintain its traditional 26 constituencies, according to preliminary proposals, but Zaka will lose one constituency (Zaka West), leaving the district with three. Chiredzi will have another constituency to make them five and Gutu South will be abolished and the constituency will be moved to Mwenezi which used to have two constituencies, making them three.
Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) Masvingo interim provincial secretary for elections Godfrey Madzikanda told The NewsHawks that it is known that Zec is conniving with the ruling Zanu PF to create a situation which will benefit it. However, he said this will not stop CCC from winning the 2023 elections since the party is gaining ground in ruling party strongholds.
“It is always known that the ruling party is working to create an electoral situation which will benefit it in 2023. We made our proposals, but l will make a full comment after the Saturday meeting which will include all stakeholders and l think we will manage to see the full report on that day. We are not worried by their shenanigans since we are mobilising support in their strongholds. We are going to win elections and Chamisa will be the president in 2023,” said Madzikanda.
MDC shadow minister of State for Masvingo Festus Dumbu said what is being done by Zec during the delimitation exercise is criminal since it is a violation of the Electoral Act which calls for serious consultations with stakeholders. He said Zec should unveil electoral information like numbers of registered voters to stakeholders. He added that Zec is abolishing constituencies in areas where Zanu PF is facing opposition threats and transferring the constituencies to perceived ruling party strongholds like Chiredzi and Mwenezi.
“As a former legislator for Zaka West l am angered by the decision to abolish the constituency and mergering it with Zaka East, the ruling party stronghold. They also added another constituency in Chiredzi, which is also their stronghold. This is a criminal act. The electoral body was supposed to consider proposals by all stakeholders other than doing the delimitation on their own,” said Dumbu.
A Zanu PF central committee member in Masvingo told The NewsHawks that it is worrying to note that all constituencies in Gutu failed to register the minimum number of voters, but abolishing Gutu South as proposed is political. She said Gutu South registered 19 000 voters, with all other constituencies registering lower figures and one of the constituencies with low voters was supposed to be abolished.
The sitting Gutu South legislator, Pupurai Togarepi, is Zanu PF’s parliamentary chief whip and a member of the Pan-African Parliament. He competed with Lovemore Matuke, the secretary for security in the ruling party’s politburo, a move which reportedly irked political heavyweights who interpreted the move as a direct challenge to senior members.