Election Watch 20-2017 - ZEC Chairperson Resigns

ELECTION WATCH 20/2017

[9th December 2017]

Chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Justice Rita Makarau has Resigned

Justice Makarau, Chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC], had signalled her intention to resign some days ago and it has now been confirmed by the new Minister Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs [the Ministry under which ZEC falls] that she has tendered her resignation by letter addressed to the President as stipulated by the section 341 of the Constitution. 

She has successfully started the roll-out of a completely new voter’s roll and it is hoped that the process will continue smoothly until all citizens eligible to vote had been given a chance to register. 

Until a new Chairperson is appointed the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission Mr Emmanuel Magade will be acting Chairperson.

Selection of a new Chairperson

The Constitution section 238(1)(a) states that “a chairperson [is] appointed by the President after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the [Parliamentary] Committee of Standing Rules and Orders;”

Section 238(2) states that “The Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must be a judge or former judge or a person qualified for appointment as a judge.

Note on what is meant by “after consultation with” [section 339(2)]

The President has to inform the Judicial Service Commission and the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders who he is considering appointing and give them an opportunity to comment on the proposed appointment.  He has to consider their comments but is not obliged to follow any recommendations they may make. 

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