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Constitutional Commissions – Bill Watch 13/2010
March 31, 2010

Members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission were sworn in by President Mugabe at State House this morning.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

Those sworn in were:

Chairperson: Justice Simpson Mtambanengwe

Vice-Chairperson: Joyce Kazembe

Other Members: Daniel Chigaru, Geoff Feltoe, Theophilus Gambe, Petty Makoni, Sibongile Ndhlovu, Bessie Nhandara, Mukuni Nyathi

Note: In fact there is no constitutional nor legal requirement for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be sworn in at all, as was the case for the Zimbabwe Media Commission. The Constitution [section 100R(4)] only makes provision for the swearing in of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. The gender balance of this Commission is correct. The Constitution stipulates that at least 4 of the 8 members [excluding the chairperson] should be women. Although there is no constitutional provision for a vice-chairperson, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act stipulates that the President appoints one from the 8 members. The role of the vice-chairperson is likely to be an active one for the present, as the chairperson is still a judge on the bench of the Namibian Supreme Court.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission

Those sworn in were:

Chairperson: Professor Reg Austin

Other members: Kwanele Jirira, Carol Khombe, Joseph Kurebwa, Jacob Mudenda, Elasto Mugwadi, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, Nomathemba Neseni, Ellen Sithole.

Note: There is a gender imbalance on this Commission. The Constitution lays down that at least half of the 8 members [excluding the chairperson] should be women. Only three on the list are women. There is no constitutional provision for a vice-chairperson, and there is not yet an enabling Act for the Commission, when there is one, it could well make provision for a vice-chairperson.

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