This report presents an update of the political environment and electoral processes ahead of the Mutoko North Constituency and the Chegutu Rural District Council (RDC) by-elections. A vacancy in Chegutu RDC, Ward 16 occurred following the death, on 10 September 2018, of the ZANU-PF councilor, Silas Chikati, who had been declared duly elected in the 30 July harmonized elections. According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) electoral roadmap for the by-election, in line with the Electoral Act, on 21 September 2018, the Chief Executive Officer of Chegutu RDC notified the Chief Elections Officer of the vacancy.
According to the ZEC electoral roadmap, in fulfilment of section 121A of the Electoral Act, the election notice was published in the Herald on 28 September 2018. The Nomination Court sat on 12 October to consider applications from nominees for the by-election. Three candidates, Patricia Mapfurira of the NCA party, Norwell Tichaona Muchenje of the MDC-Alliance, and Simunya Obert Mutandinda of ZANU-PF will vie for the post of councillor in the by-election scheduled to be held on 24 November 2018. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has deployed a Long Term Observer (LTO) to observe the pre-election environment and will train and deploy observers at polling stations on Election Day.
Following the elevation of Mabel Chinomona to the post of Senate President, the Mutoko North National Assembly seat fell vacant, necessitating the holding of a by-election.1 As in the case of the Chegutu RDC Ward 16 by-election, the Mutoko North Constituency by-election is scheduled to be held on 24 November 2018. The Nomination Court also sat on 12 October 2018 to consider applications of nominees for the by-election. ZESN observed the Nomination Court. More than one candidate was duly nominated, hence, the Motoko North by-election will be held in accordance with subsection 17(c) of the section 46 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13)2 as read with the Presidential Proclamation number 7 of 2018. The same political parties contesting in Chegutu RDC, Ward 16 will contest the by-election. The candidates are Edson Mugoma of NCA Party, Boniface Mushore of the MDC-Alliance, and Rambidzai Nyabote of the ZANU-PF party. The right and opportunity to be elected was afforded to the three candidates without any noticeable legal and administrative barriers.
ZESN subsequently trained and deployed Long Term Observers (LTOs) to cover all the 11 Wards in Mutoko North Constituency. The LTOs had started reporting on their observations by 18 October. This update is based on reports sent by ZESN observers until 28 October 2018.
Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)