OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora says his Constitutional Court application challenging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s gazetted delimitation report is not meant to avoid elections, but to ensure that free, fair and credible elections are conducted.
Mwonzora challenged the delimitation report on March 14 under case number CCZ 9/23, citing Zec, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Attorney General (Prince Machaya) as respondents. Only Zec has since filed opposing papers.
In a letter, Mwonzora said their application was based on the population census, equality of votes and names and boundaries of wards and constituencies.
“Zec did not take into account the final results of the population census. It is legally impossible to do any delimitation without knowing the number of people in the country and in each ward or constituency,” Mwonzora wrote.
“The Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly states that in doing delimitation, Zec must ensure that each ward or constituency has the same number of registered voters as others. The Constitution, however, allows a situation whereby due to other factors the number of registered voters in each ward or constituency may differ, but this difference must never be 20% more or 20% less than other constituencies or wards. In clear violation of this principle, Zec went on to use a 40% variation instead.
“The gazetting of the final delimitation report by the President was illegal in that his proclamation did not give the names and boundaries of the wards and constituencies as is required by the Constitution. The gazetted report referred to annexures which were however conspicuously absent from the report.”
He said they hoped that their application would succeed in getting the delimitation report declared invalid and that Zec be ordered to redo this report before the proclamation of election dates can be made.
“Contrary to what some people rushed to say, this application does not seek to avoid elections. Rather, it seeks to make sure that free, fair and credible elections are held using a correct delimitation report in Zimbabwe.
“Some people believe that we should just go to elections with this delimitation report. That is most unwise. This would be a call for Zimbabweans to go to unfree, unfair and uncredible elections. It is a fact that the opposition in this country have never been declared winners of an unfree and unfair election before. How some people think it is possible this time, is strange to us,” he added.
Analysts have criticised Mwonzora’s court application describing its timing and motive as suspicious. Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change recently ruled out boycotting the polls.