New parliamentary boundaries


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Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that the Delimitation Commission had established new boundaries for the 2005 constituencies but the Movement for Democratic Change which was not represented on the commission expressed concern that the commission could have tampered with the boundaries.

The MDC had not yet decided whether to participate in the elections though the government had introduced several amendments to level the playing field.

Harare North legislator Trudy Stevenson said that there were already rumours that Mbare West and Mbare East would be combined due to a decrease in the number of voters.

She said this would just be a way of reducing the number of seats in urban areas where the MDC was strongest in favour of rural areas where the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was stronger.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE2055, MDC AWAITS NEW PARLIAMENTARY BOUNDARIES

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

04HARARE2055

2004-12-20 16:25

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

201625Z Dec 04

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002055

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE, D. TEITELBAUM

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2009

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC AWAITS NEW PARLIAMENTARY BOUNDARIES

 

REF: HARARE 2049

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

1. (U) On December 15, Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa

announced that the Delimitation Commission, which establishes

new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies, had

completed its work in preparation for the March elections and

would soon be presenting its report to President Mugabe.

Chinamasa, however, gave no timetable on when the Commission

would make its work public. The boundaries set by the

Commission are reportedly based on the voter rolls as of

October 2004.

 

2. (C) The MDC, which had no one on the Commission, has been

very concerned about the potential for gerrymandering and

fraud in this process (reftel). On December 17, MDC MP for

Harare North Trudy Stevenson told Poloff that the MDC was

anxious to see the results of the Commission,s work. The

MDC has tentatively chosen candidates in the event that the

party decides to participate in the parliamentary elections;

however, Stevenson said candidates cannot officially be

nominated until the constituencies are determined. Stevenson

added that the MDC was somewhat concerned by unofficial

reports they had received of the Commission,s results.

According to these reports, two Harare constituencies, Mbare

West and Mbare East, will be combined, ostensibly due to a

decrease in Harare,s population. Stevenson doubted the

purported basis for the consolidation of the seat and said it

was an example of the Government reducing the number of urban

constituencies, where the MDC was strongest, in favor of

rural areas, where ZANU-PF traditionally had stronger

support.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: Delimitation, along with the registration

process, which is due to be completed in late January, are

potentially important factors in the GOZ,s efforts to ensure

a victory in the March elections, while avoiding outright

fraud at the polls. It remains to be seen whether the

Commission’s work has exceeded the bounds of district

redrawing permitted by the constitution and, if so, whether

there is anything the MDC can do about it. The Commission’s

absence of MDC representation appears to be objectionable

under Article 7.3 of the SADC Principles and Guidelines on

Elections, which provides that electoral bodies must be

“impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable.”

DELL

 

(13 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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