The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has been educated to the effect that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not limit the President of the National Council of Chiefs to be elected as the deputy president of the institution after serving two terms.
Some sections of the local media had reported that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had revealed that the election of Chief Fortune Charumbira as the deputy president of the National Council of Chiefs was under objection.
Chief Charumbira served two terms in the chief’s council as president and was elected deputy president during the elections that were held on August 10, 2023.
Chief Khumalo Matshane, formerly the deputy president of the chiefs’ council, was elected president of the council during the elections.
But in its report on the 2023 harmonised elections presented in Parliament last week, ZEC said some “quotas” had reservations over Charumbira’s election to the post after he had served for two terms as president in the same council.
“Chapter 15 of the Constitution, Section 285 does not limit the President to be elected as Deputy President after serving two terms as President of the Council.
“Chapter 15, Section 285 on National Council and Provincial Assemblies of Chiefs has the following provisions. Subsection (1) There is a National Council of Chiefs constituted in accordance with an Act of Parliament, to represent all Chiefs in Zimbabwe.
(2) An Act of Parliament must establish for each province, other than the metropolitan provinces, a provincial assembly of Chiefs consisting of the Chiefs in that province.
(3) So far as practicable the Chiefs in each province must be equitably represented in the National Council of Chiefs,
(4) Elections of the President. Deputy President and members of the National Council of Chiefs must be conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
(5) Each provincial assembly of Chiefs must elect, in accordance with the Electoral Law, Chiefs to represent the province in the Senate in terms of section 120(1)(b).
(6) The 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.”
As it stands and going by the Constitution which is the Supreme Law, the election of Chief Charumbira as the Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs is above board.