HARARE – Parliament will today open public interviews for 22 candidates nominated for appointment to the country’s controversial electoral body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
There are six vacancies to be filled.
Six commissioners, Joyce Kazembe, the vice-chairperson, Daniel Chigaru, Theophilus Gambe, Petty Makoni, Sibongile Ndhlovu and Bessie Nhandara's terms expired on March 31.
The interviews will be held in the Senate chambers, where the shortlisted candidates will endure 20 minutes, at most, of grilling from the Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.
Among the shortlisted candidates are Kazembe, Nhandara and Makoni, who are seeking re-election.
Also shortlisted are Anglican Bishop Chad Gandiya, University of Zimbabwe dean Charity Manyeruke, Phillip Bohwasi, Rachel Chibaya, Samukele Hadebe, Patrick Huni, Lovemore Kadenge, Ngoni Kundidzora, Silas Mangono, Roseline Mangota, Boysen Matema, Stembile Mpofu, Theresa Mugadza, Netsai Mushonga, Barbra Nyangaira, Thembelihle Nyathi-Ncube, Paul Sambo, Faith Sebata and Roseline Zigomo.
Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, appointed in 2013, and commissioners Qhubani Moyo and Emmanuel Magade both appointed in June 2015, who are serving six-year terms, will remain commissioners.
Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders will prepare a list of at least nine nominees for appointment by President Robert Mugabe. The new electoral commissioners are expected to steer reforms toward free and fair elections.
Parliament earlier called on members of the public to submit nominations to fill the vacancies in February. The closing date for submission of nominations was February 27.
Zec had said members of the commission must be Zimbabwean citizens and chosen for their integrity and experience; and for their competence in the conduct of affairs in the public or private sector.
Nomination material was supposed to consist of a typewritten submission of not more than two A4 pages long stating why the person nominated is a suitable candidate together with a completed nomination.
The nominations were then sent to the clerk of Parliament.
The new appointments have been put on the front burner because Zec is unable to discharge its mandate properly with only three commissioners.
Zec needs a quorum of at least five commissioners to function.