The rise of former Central Bank governor Gideon Gono to the Senate to fill the vacancy left by Kumbirai Kangai is not guaranteed as some people want to make it look.
While the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is free to nominate any male candidate who qualifies, even one who was not on the party list at last year’s elections, the Electoral Amendment Act which was gazette a week ago, says that if any voter objects, and the objection is valid, the party has to submit another nomination until there are no objections.
Senate seats are filled on a proportional representation system with the seats depending on the number of votes a party won. Each of the country’s 10 provinces is entitled to six seats.
There are currently two vacant seats in the Senate, the one left by Kangai which has been the most talked about, and the other left by Edna Madzongwe when she was elected President of the Senate.
Madzongwe’s seat has to be filled by ZANU-PF and by a woman.
According to Veritas the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must give notice of the vacancies in the Government Gazette and invite ZANU-PF to submit nominations.
“ If the Chief Elections Officer is satisfied that a nomination is in order, ZEC must gazette details of the nominee and name a period within which any voter may, giving reasons, lodge a written objection to the nomination,” Veritas says.
“ In the absence of objections, or if ZEC considers objections lodged to be invalid, ZEC must gazette notices declaring a nominee elected as a Senator with effect from the date of the notice.
“If an objection is considered to be valid, the process must be repeated until a qualified person is identified to fill the vacancy.”
With the current faction fighting in ZANU-PF as people jostle for positions in the run up to the party congress in December, it therefore means that, if a voter considers Gono to belong to one faction which he or she does not like, this could technically derail Gono’s chances if the voter lodges an objection.