Make ZEC More Independent and Impartial

ZimRights Statement on the recent appointment of ZEC Commissioners

ZimRights registers its displeasure over the recent appointment of Commissioners to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa, recently appointed six Commissioners in terms of section 238(1)(b) of the Constitution – the President appoints from a list of nominees submitted by Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO]. The recently appointed commissioners are Mrs Catherine Mpofu, Mrs Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose, Mrs Janet Mbetu Nzvenga, Mrs Rosewita Marutare, Mr Kudzai Shava and Mr Shepherd Manhivi who replaced the previous Commissioners whose terms of office expired on 6 July 2022.

ZimRights believes that independence is the cornerstone of ZEC as an entity that performs the role of a referee in democratic elections. However, the recent appointments, go against the principles of The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (Article 17.1), as well as the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. (Section 4.1.9) which all speak to the need for member states to uphold the impartiality and independence of the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs). Further, the Zimbabwean Constitution, under Chapter 12 (235 and 236) speaks to the need for ZEC and its commissioners to be independent from partisanship and influence from political parties among other factors.