HARARE – The report by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the delimitation of electoral boundaries has been rejected by Zanu PF, and the party has begun making preparations to have the document thrown out of court.
Senior members of the Zanu PF party have accused ZEC chair Justice Priscilla Chigumba of “selling out” and setting up a “palace coup” after party strategists determined that the new ward and constituency borders favor the opposition.
Justice Chigumba sent President Emmerson Mnangagwa the report on December 26; it has not yet been made public. By law, Mnangagwa has seven working days to present the findings to parliament.
However, Zanu PF officials led by justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi are calling for the report to be retracted and the delimitation process to be resumed even before MPs have had a chance to examine it.
Other ZEC commissioners are reportedly plotting against Chigumba, but sources claim that she and her deputy Rodney Simukai Kiwa have so far resisted giving in.
Seven of the ZEC’s nine commissioners apparently declined to support the findings. However, Chigumba and Kiwa claimed that there was no legal necessity for commissioners to reach agreement before submitting the delimitation report to Mnangagwa.
Ziyambi, the justice minister, and Virginia Mabhiza, the ministry’s permanent secretary, have persuaded Mnangagwa that the delimitation report poses a threat to his bid for reelection in the general elections scheduled for next year.
According to sources, Isaac Moyo, the head of the Central Intelligence Organization, allied himself with Justice Chigumba, which incensed Ziyambi and Mabhiza.
Moyo was called to a meeting where Mnangagwa, Ziyambi, and Mabhiza were present. The Zanu PF leader reportedly gave them instructions to devise plans to get the report thrown out.