ED says to proclaim Zimbabwe election date in May

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he expects to proclaim the date for the elections at the end of May.

The poll must be held between July 26 and August 26, to comply with Constitutional regulations that the election must come not more than 30 days after the expiry period of the current Parliament. A proclamation can only be made 44-88 days before the election date.

“We will soon hold our elections this year. I alone am privileged to know the date. Towards the end of next month, I will proclaim the date. For now, all of you must prepare to vote,” Mnangagwa said at a Zimplats event in Mhondoro on Wednesday.

In 2018, Mnangagwa proclaimed the election, held on July 30, on May 30.

The election date is currently the subject of a court challenge brought by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora, who wants elections pushed back to allow fresh delimitation of constituencies. He argues that the delimitation process by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was flawed. The Constitutional Court will hear his case on May 8.

In Parliament, MPs are to pass an Electoral Amendment Bill before elections are proclaimed. The Bill would provide for the election of 10 youths to the National Assembly and continue the election of 60 women to the National Assembly under a party-list system. The Bill will also bar people convicted of certain crimes from standing for office.

Two CCC MPs have tabled proposals that would compel ZEC to release an auditable voters’ roll with pictures of voters, and to float an open tender for ballot printing.