A KEY member of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) ustice Priscilla Chigumba and fellow commissioners expected to be forced out by 2021 Professor Lovemore Madhuku, has said that Justice Priscilla Chigumba and other commissioners of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will soon pack their bags and will not run the 2023 harmonised elections.
Madhuku, who heads the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), said the electoral commissioners for 2023 will be appointed by members of the POLAD, adding that that is part of the reforms they will soon implement.
“She (Justice Chigumba) will not be there in 2023, you can get it from us, she was appointed, she will have to resign or somewhat compensated, but 2023 elections will not be run by a chairperson who was appointed by the President.
“In the 2023 elections, the whole commission will be appointed by a body of politicians who are players. That is the reform that we want. We actually want the Constitution to be amended. To have a conference of political actors to endorse the commission,” Madhuku said, in an interview carried by NewsDay.
“The second thing to change is to ensure that Zec is not only independent, but has to be seen to be independent so we are going to be changing the appointment process, the chairperson of the Zec must not be appointed by the President or the President in consultation with so and so; no, no, no,” Madhuku said.
Madhuku hinted there will be a “massive” change in the way elections are managed going forward, adding that it was important that whoever chairs the ZEC has a buy-in from the POLAD.
“That person must be approved by a platform of political actors, so Polad is going to appoint the chairperson of the electoral commission of the 2023 elections; that will be a massive change.
“For you to be chairperson of Zec, you must get the buy-in of Polad and that is one of the reforms that we are going to put. The President can appoint all the other things, but not the people who run elections, that was the mistake of 2018.
“We are not worried about the security actors in Zec, they will all be removed, that is what Polad is all about. There are people who think Polad is a play field and it has no teeth, they will see that Polad has teeth.
“We are going to remove the entire thing, for the 2023 elections you must enjoy the confidence of Polad, including those who will come in wanting to contest the 2023 elections and this must be in place by 2021. We must actually have in place a new Zec,” he said.
The MDC led by Nelson Chamisa has repeatedly scoffed at POLAD as a grouping of losers, and might miss a chance to influence key changes at the electoral management body.
Chamisa says he will not join the POLAD as long there is no “neutral convener.”
The POLAD was initiated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and includes the majority of the presidential candidates who participated in the 2018 July elections.