126 vacancies unfilled at Zec

The report details the commission’s activities throughout the year, including voter registration, budget allocation and staffing updates.

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) fired six employees while 126 vacancies remained unfilled, the commission’s 2023 annual report has revealed, amid fears the gaps could affect the election management body to discharge its duties effectively.

The report details the commission’s activities throughout the year, including voter registration, budget allocation and staffing updates.

The report also showed that there are 58 police officers seconded to Zec.

“Zec has an establishment of 680 posts. Of these 580 are filled.

In addition, 58 ZRP special constabularies are seconded to Zec for security reasons,” the report read.

“The commission recruited 66 new employees during the year under review. Of those recruited 40% are females and 60% are males.

“All posts were advertised internally first and then externally where suitable and qualified internal candidates were not identified.

“However, nine offers were rejected due to unattractive salary packages. In addition during the year under review, the commission recruited about one hundred and fifty thousand (150 000) seconded staff from eligible institutions in line with the provisions of section 10 of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] for purposes of supporting the management of electoral activities.”

While not receiving the full allocated budget, Zec accessed 74% of the ZWL$896 billion earmarked for electoral processes.

On the voter registration front, Zec reported a significant increase with over 700 000 registrants recorded in 2023.

“The commission was able to fulfil all its statutory functions and met six (6) times in line with its corporate governance expectations outlined in the relevant law.

“This was despite the various challenges and demands from its other constitutional mandates during the year under review,” then Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said.

Zec chief electoral officer Utloile Silaigwana admitted that the commission faced challenges in 2023.

“The year 2023 shall go down as the most hectic in the history of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. This is due to the fact that the commission was faced with the requirement of discharging two equally challenging electoral tasks in terms of the Constitution over a period of two years, that is, 2022 and 2023,” he said.

“During the prior year, and up to the first quarter of 2023, the commission was preoccupied with the mandate of delimiting electoral boundaries following the conduct of a population census in line with provisions of section 161 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

“In 2023, the commission was again called upon in terms of section 239 to conduct the harmonised elections.

Notwithstanding this fact, I am pleased to announce the fact that the commission was equal to the tasks at hand as these were discharged in line with its constitutional mandate,” he added.

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