In terms of the Constitution and the Electoral Laws, delimitation is conducted every 10 years after a population census. The last population census was held in August 2012, and the next census will be in August 2022. Changes on the frequency of delimitation was brought about in 2013, with the promulgation of the Constitution. Previously delimitation was conducted after 5 years and it was the responsibility of a Delimitation Commission (DC). The last delimitation was conducted in 2008, before the harmonised elections. Since the last delimitation; there have been internal displacements, migration that has affected the sizes of constituencies, some are too big and some are too small. Problems identified with previous delimitation processes have included; lack of transparency; lack of stakeholder consultation and participation; inadequate publicity; independence of the previous Delimitation Commission; and, inadequate time for the delimitation process.
The ZESN conducted a research on the delimitation of electoral boundaries from January 2019 to March 2019. The objectives of the research were as follows:
- To ascertain citizens’ knowledge, attitudes and opinions on delimitation of constituency boundaries in Zimbabwe;
- To analyse the current framework for determining and reviewing electoral boundaries in Zimbabwe; and
- To recommend the redrawing of the boundaries of the 210 constituencies in Zimbabwe based on the current voter registerand population statistics.
ZESN trained and deployed 10 supervisors and 30 enumerators, who were deployed to every province and district to collect data on delimitation. ZESN used a representative multi-stage and probability proportionate to size sampling techniques to draw a representative sample of 2 400. However, ZESN managed to reach 2390 respondents (99%) of the sample. ZESN applied gender quota and endeavored to ensure 50/50 representation.
ZESN conducted a review of the legal framework on delimitation, in order to assess where further improvements need to be made. The delimitation process in Kenya was also reviewed to enable to learn lessons for Zimbabwe. ZESN also purchased the February 2019 voters’ roll to conduct an analysis of registered voters by ward and by constituency. A formula was applied to rationalize constituencies in terms of the registered voters on the February 2019 voters’ roll.
Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)