Only 13.8 percent of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission staff have security background


The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has former members of the army, the prison service, the police, central intelligence organisation, and the President Office but these constitute only 13.8 percent of the electoral body’s staff.

ZEC chairperson Priscillah Chigumba told the Herald that she had looked at her staff following allegations that the ZEC was militarised.

“We take those allegations seriously. We do have former members of the army, Prison Service, ZRP, Central Intelligence, President’s Office officers. When I came in as chairperson I took time to sit and look at those allegations and found out that approximately 13.8 percent of secretariat staff has a security sector background,” she said.

“I checked all the records and I satisfied myself that of all of them none is currently serving. I would like to emphasise the fact that ZEC actually advertised certain posts and we had of that 13.8 percent of our secretariat, these are the employees of ours that responded to advertisement. They actually went through the interviews and were selected.

“So when you hear members of the public saying that ZEC is militarised, it gives the false impression that we walked into an army barrack or ZRP and arbitrarily chose certain people to come and work for us. But the truth of the matter is that most of these people, of the 13.8 percent, actually joined ZEC more than five years ago.

“As you know, there has been a freeze on government posts so we have not been able to recruit anyone. So we have had these employees for quite a while, they are our employees, they were employed in terms of the standard procedures and we have taken the position that there is no law in Zimbabwe which prevents us from employing someone merely because they have retired from the army or police.

“Our position is that we intend to keep our employees until such time as there is a law which instructs us or guides us to say as an electoral commission we may not employ such people. But we are an independent commission and we independently recruited these people and they are here to stay.”


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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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