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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles


  • Response to requests for more information - elections tomorrow - Bill Watch 35/2013
    Veritas
    July 30, 2013

    The Elections are Tomorrow, Wednesday 31st July

    Response to Requests for More Information

    Presidential Candidate Mukwazhe Withdraws

    Kisinot Mukwazhe of the Zimbabwe Development Party has withdrawn from the Presidential election. This leaves four Presidential candidates: Dr Dabengwa of ZAPU, Mr Mugabe of ZANU-PF, Professor Ncube of MDC and Mr Tsvangirai of MDC-T.

    Mr Mukwazhe told journalists on 27th July that he had withdrawn because the electoral playing field was skewed in favour of ZANU-PF and MDC-T. He said he and his supporters would now support President Mugabe in the Presidential election. The Zimbabwe Development Party’s application for an allocation of over $1 million of public funding was dismissed by the Constitutional Court on 28th June; the Political Parties (Finance) Act limits public funding of political parties to parties gaining at least $5 of the vote in the previous general election.

    Date of Presidential Run-off Election [If one is Needed]

    Should no candidate get an absolute majority of the vote in the Presidential election [i.e., 50% plus one vote], there will have to be run-off election between the two candidates with the most votes. The run-off election, if one becomes necessary, will be on the 11th September, the precise date specified in the election proclamation in accordance with the Electoral Act.

    Final List of Polling Stations Published

    The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] published supplements in most newspapers on Sunday 28th July containing its final lists of the polling stations that will be serving voters on polling day. There are 9 735 polling stations altogether, 65 more than the 9 670 in the provisional lists published on 10th July.

    ZEC had previously said, when it published its provisional lists in the daily newspapers on 10th July, that if there were representations made to it that more polling stations were needed, it was prepared to make additions to the provisional lists to meet requirements and would publish final lists on polling day. Parties, civil society and observer organisations requested that the final list be published earlier than this in order to deploy their agents. ZEC’s response to a reasonable demand is commendable and will help voters, political parties and observers to finalise arrangements for polling day.

    ZEC is legally obliged by the Electoral Act to publish the lists at least once more, on polling day itself. [Section 51(3) of the Electoral Act requires publication of lists of polling stations in the press at least three weeks before polling day – which explains the notices on 10th July – and again on polling day. There is no legal requirement for the lists to be published in the Government Gazette.]

    Reminder: 31st July a Public Holiday

    Polling day, 31st July, will be a public holiday with all the consequences that normally entails. The Electoral Act, section 38(2) provides that “polling day shall be deemed to be a public holiday for the purposes of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act”. And for good measure the President has by SI 107A/2013 formally declared 31st July to be a public holiday, in terms of his power to do so under the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act.

    Workers Entitled to Time Off to Vote

    In addition, employers must allow employees who do work on polling day to have the whole morning or afternoon off “to afford them an opportunity to vote in the election”, without loss of pay The Electoral Act, section 92(2), states that: “An employee shall not be required to suffer any deduction from his wages or salary by reason of any leave of absence” granted to allow him or her to vote.

    Voting for Senator Chiefs

    President and Deputy President of the Council of Chiefs

    Under the new Constitution the President and Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs are ex officio members of the Senate [the former Constitution made the same provision]. At a Council of Chiefs meeting in Harare on 19th July Chief Fortune Charumbira and Chief Mtshane Khumalo were re-elected President and Deputy President, respectively, of the Council of Chiefs, in terms of Part X of the Electoral Act. As required by the Act a ZEC official presided over the election proceedings. Both Chief Charumbira and Chief Mtshane were declared elected unopposed.

    Election of other 16 Senator Chiefs to be on 2nd August

    Sixteen more Senator Chiefs must be elected, two for each of the non-metropolitan provinces. The provincial assemblies of chiefs will meet in provincial centres to constitute electoral colleges for this purpose on Friday 2nd August, the date fixed in the election proclamation [SI 86/2013]. ZEC officers appointed for the purpose will preside over proceedings in the eight electoral colleges.

    Preparations for Election of Two Senators Representing Disabled Persons

    The new Senate will include two Senators to represent disabled persons. They must be elected in accordance with the Seventh Schedule to the Electoral Act. This Schedule was introduced into the Act by President Mugabe’s Presidential Powers regulations [SI 85/2013] on 12th June.

    The Schedule provides for the formation by ZEC and the National Disability Board of an “Electoral College for the Election of Persons with a Disability”, from disabled persons nominated by disabled persons associations and institutions caring for disabled persons, as specified by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, in consultation with the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. The names of 18 associations and 18 institutions were specified in SI 107/2013 on 19th July, with five further associations added by SI 107B/2013 and SI 111/2013 a few days later.

    Each specified association or institution had to nominate four disabled persons, two women and two men, for membership of the Electoral College. The Disability Board then had to draw up a provisional list of Electoral College members, subject to the final approval of ZEC, and ZEC and the Disability Board had to meet on the 29th July to agree on the time, venue and programme for, the quorum for, and the procedure and method of voting at, the meeting of the Electoral College.

    Note: There has been dissatisfaction expressed in letters to the newspaper about this process saying some organisations had been left out and also that the process of both selecting the organisations and how the voting will take place has not been made clear and transparent.

    Official Announcement of Election Results

    The official announcement of results has to be made by ZEC, although as pointed out in Bill Watch 34/2013 there is nothing in election law to prohibit the compilation of results by party, organisations and individuals as long as they do not claim the results to be the official ones.

    Presidential election

    The official announcement of the Presidential election result has to be made by the ZEC chairperson, or in her absence the deputy chairperson or one of the other commissioners. The announcement must be made not later than 5th August, five days after polling, if there is an outright winner The person elected President must be sworn in within 48 hours. If there has to be a run off – see above for date - the procedure for the announcement of results – within 5 days – and the swearing in – within 48 hours is the same.

    National Assembly Constituency elections

    The results of National Assembly constituency elections are legally effective immediately they are announced by the ZEC constituency elections officer at constituency level.

    Party Lists results

    • 60 party-list Senators, six from each of the ten provinces
    • 60 party-list women members of the National Assembly, six from each of the ten provinces
    • 80 party-list provincial councillors, ten for each of the eight non-metropolitan provinces.

    The allocation of party-list representatives is determined according to the provincial totals of votes for the parties who submitted party lists on nomination day. The determination is made by the provincial elections officer at provincial level. The results are legally effective immediately they are announced by the ZEC provincial elections officers.

    Senator Chiefs

    The election results for the sixteen Senate seats for Senator Chiefs will be legally effective when announced by the ZEC presiding officers at the conclusion of each of the electoral college proceedings in the eight non-metropolitan provinces on 2nd August.

    Senators representing disabled persons

    These results will be legally effective when announced by the presiding officer at the conclusion of the Electoral College proceedings. [These proceedings have to be still to be made public]

    Election Documents Available on Website: veritaszim.net

    • GN 361/2013*** [Presidential Candidates]
    • GN 362/2013*** [National Assembly Constituency Candidates]
    • GN 363/2013*** [Addresses of Constituency Elections Officers]
    • GN 364/2013*** [Party Lists for National Assembly, Senate and Provincial Councils]

    *** available on the Veritas website veritaszim.net but are not available by email.

    • SI 85/2013* [regulations amending the Electoral Act]
    • Consolidated Electoral Act* [including amendments by SI 85/2013]
    • SI 86/2013* and SI 96/2013 [Election proclamation and correction]
    • SI 88/2013* [Electoral Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations
    • SI 89/2013* [Electoral (Accreditation of Observers) Regulations
    • SI 107, 107B and 111/2013* – prescribed associations and institutions for purposes of constituting electoral college for election of Senators representing persons with disabilities.
    • SI 107A/2013* – 31st July a public holiday
    • GN 376/2013* – ZEC and National Disability Board meeting, 29th July.

    *available on website and still available by email if requested from veritas@mango.zw

    Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

    Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.

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