BY EVANS MATHANDA
POLITICAL commentators have described the recently-appointed new members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) as too young and incapable of stopping meddling by the military on electoral issues.
Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa swore in six commissioners at State House — Catherine Mpofu, Abigal Millicent Mohadi Ambrose, Shepherd Manhivi, Rosewita Marutare, Janet Mbetu Nzvenga and Kudzai Shava.
The six replaced commissioners whose term of office came to an end on July 6, 2022.
Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said the new commissioners were not in a position to endure Zec’s behaviour and actions leading up to the 2023 elections.
“The ages of the commissioners means that they are easy to intimidate and … they are compromised by their connections and relations,” he said.
“I think this is the worst process of replacing commissioners that Zimbabwe has had since the setting up of Zec. Not only had the majority of people compromised daughters of active politicians in Zanu PF, former civil servants, and all sorts of shady characters who now constitute Zec.
“I think this is the first point of a disputed electoral outcome no matter how Zanu PF and Zec may defend the integrity of electoral processes in Zimbabwe. That was very political, but beyond political. We are essentially in the straws of a disputed election in 2023 which will further prolong the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe,” he added.
Another political analyst, Vivid Gwede believes the nomination of people with close ties to key Zanu PF figures was a cause for concern.
But Zec spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said the commission had nothing to do with the commissioners’ appointments.
“Zec is not the one that employs the commissioners, but it is Parliament that has that mandate, but basically I don’t see anything wrong about giving opportunities to the youth,” he said.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu also said that people’s abilities had nothing to do with age or gender.
“They went through interviews and selection by the Standing Rules and Order of Parliament. So I believe that the experience and qualifications have nothing to do with age or gender,” Mpofu told NewsDay.
Contacted for comment, one of the new commissioners, Mpofu, said she needed to follow Zec protocols to comment on the issues surrounding their appointment.
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