Community Development Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

2023 Zimbabwe plebiscite set in as ZEC conducts Chiefs’ Council Elections countrywide

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Head Office

Writes Elvis Dumba

Chinhoyi – The 2023 Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has set in motion a 2023 harmonized general elections process today by presiding over the National Council of Chiefs elections, marking the first stage of this year’s harmonised polls.

The elections supervised by ZEC Provincial Elections Officers in all the eight non-metropolitan provinces in the country started at 10 am at various provincial polling places

An Electoral College comprising substantive Chiefs from provinces will elect 36 Chiefs to the National Council.

Manicaland will have five council members, Mashonaland Central (4), Mashonaland East (4), Mashonaland West (4), Masvingo (5), Matabeleland North (5), Matabeleland South (4), and Midlands (5).

The filling of vacancies to be filled by the Electoral College will be presided over by Provincial Elections Officer through a secret ballot.

Each member of the electoral college can only cast one vote for a candidate.

After the members of the Electoral College have voted, the presiding officer shall in the presence of the members and the candidates, cause the votes to be counted.

After counting the votes, the presiding officer shall prepare a list of the candidates, with the candidates who received the most votes appearing first, at the top of the list.

If two or more candidates have received the same number of votes, the presiding officer shall arrange for a fresh vote to take place in respect of those candidates.

At the second poll, the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes shall be declared to have been duly elected with effect from the day of such declaration.

If after the second poll, a vacancy has not been filled because two or more candidates have received the same number of votes, the presiding officer shall, in the presence of the members of the electoral college and candidates draw lots to determine the candidates who shall be deemed to be duly elected.

After drawing lots, the presiding officer shall declare the candidate(s) concerned to have been duly elected with effect from the day of such declaration.

The results of the election will be announced in a government gazette notice.

The elections for the president and deputy president of the Council of Chiefs will be held on 10 August 2023.

“Section 285 of the Constitution on National Council and Provincial Assemblies of Chiefs subsection (6) provide that President and Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs are elected for a term of five years and are eligible for re-election for one further such term, but a person who has served two terms as Deputy President is eligible for election as President.”

In Chinhoyi at least 18 substantives chiefs did cast their votes at Cooksey Hall where a team of election observers from the Europe Union observed the process.

Chief Fortune Charumbira currently occupies the position of President of the Chiefs’ Council.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende