Final Delimitation Report, Window Ending On 17 February 2023

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With the final report being submitted on 3 February 2023, the President now has 14 days to gazette the Final Delimitation Report, window ending on 17 February 2023.

According to video excerpts published by the Office of the President and Cabinet on 3 February 2023, following the submission of the Delimitation Report, the ZEC Chairperson is quoted stating that ZEC had resubmitted the delimitation report with corrections made and the “President has the mandate in terms of section 160 (10) [of the Constitution] to gazette the final delimitation report within 14 days.”

The ERC takes note of the submission of the delimitation report by ZEC Chairperson Justice P. Chigumba on 3 February 2023. The ERC further notes erroneous public comments stating that the delimitation report submitted as not being final.

PROCEDURE Sections 160 (7), (8), (9) and (10) details the submission process of the delimitation report. ● The Constitution [section 160(7)] states that after carrying out the delimitation exercise, the ZEC must submit to the President a Preliminary Report, which must be laid before Parliament within seven days. (This was completed, with the preliminary report being submitted by ZEC on 26 December 2022.)

Following the submission of the Preliminary Report to Parliament, the President and Parliament had fourteen days to refer the report back to ZEC for further consideration of any matter or issue. (This was completed with the President handing over Parliament’s Ad-Hoc Committee report to the ZEC Chairperson on 20 January 2023, while President Mnangagwa submitted his comments to the ZEC Chairperson on 23 January 2023.)

Once the Report has been referred back to ZEC, according section 160 (9) of the Constitution ZEC may give further consideration to the matter or issue concerned, but the Commission’s decision on it is final. The Constitution does now allow for resubmission of another delimitation report for further consideration. ● After considering matters or issues raised by the President and Parliament, ZEC must submit a final delimitation report to the President, giving the President fourteen days to gazette the Final Delimitation Report. (The ERC notes that on 3 February 2023, ZEC submitted the Final Delimitation Report in line with the Constitution, with the Office of the President and Cabinet confirming the submission of the Final Delimitation Report as per the law.)

RESUBMISSION OF A PRELIMINARY DELIMITATION REPORT

There is no constitutional or legislative provision that allows for the resubmission of a preliminary delimitation report by ZEC following the initial submission of the preliminary report. The Constitution states that once the Commission considers issues raised by the President and Parliament, its decision is final and must submit a final report. The finality of the Commission’s decision is to protect its independence in carrying out the delimitation process, and not potentially submit ZEC to the undue influence of stakeholders, by repeatedly submitting the report for comments.

ZEC CHAIRPERSON COMMENTS

According to video excerpts published by the Office of the President and Cabinet on 3 February 2023, following the submission of the Delimitation Report, the ZEC Chairperson is quoted stating that ZEC had resubmitted the delimitation report with corrections made and the “President has the mandate in terms of section 160 (10) [of the Constitution] to gazette the final delimitation report within 14 days.”

 

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