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ZEC's Delimitation Report: Understanding the Import of the Arithmetic of Section 161 (6) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe

File pic: ZEC

Apologies for the late intervention. I was in the village with limited connectivity.

1) The Mangoma and Veritas interventions are saying the same thing. These two positions are essentially correct.

2) The minor arithmetic differences in their numbers for allowable minimum and maximum voters in a constituency are insignificant.

3) Veritas does a great job of identifying the possible source of ZEC’s error.

4) The current Constitution of Zimbabwe’s Section 161 (6) looks similar but is DIFFERENT from Section 61A(6) of the old Lancaster House Constitution of Zimbabwe.

5) Section 161 (6) stipulates that the difference between the allowable minimum and maximum voters in a constituency should be less than 20%, whereas Section 61A (6) (Lancaster Constitution) stipulates that, that difference should be less than 40% (i.e., 20% + 20%).

6) It is important to note that the old Lancaster provision 61A (6) is BETTER phrased than the current provision 161 (6)

7) Section 161 (6) should have explicitly said 10% above or below the average number of voters allowable in a constituency.

Of course, this wording can be implicitly deduced from the current phrasing.

Being explicit could have helped.

8) The delimitation process has to be redone according to Section 161 (6) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

The current Delimitation Report is invalid since it is in violation of the current Constitution of Zimbabwe's Section 161 (6)

9) Of course, in carrying out the delimitation exercise, there must be no mischievous intention to disadvantage or advantage any political players. There must be safeguards against such shenanigans.


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