Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Interview Drama

A member of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee which carried out the interviews, Eric Matinenga, asked former ZEC vice-chairperson, Joice Kazembe, how she rated the political environment during the 2008 elections.

Matinenga had referred to the ZEC 2008 Election Report which noted that the police had said in the period leading to the March 29, 2008 elections, the political environment was relatively fair.

This did not go down well with Zanu PF members on the committee, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangangwa and his colleague Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa who were quick to raise a point of order.

"It is not fair to ask that question on this one particular candidate because she not the only sitting ZEC member who has come for these interviews. Why didn’t you aske this question to Theophelus Gambe who came earlier," said Chinamasa heavily objecting to the question.

The Committee interviewed 25 candidates out of the 28 shortlisted after three candidates including one sitting commissioner failed to turn up for the interviews, which were done in public.

The Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo had to overule the supplementary question on the basis that it was not valid and this also did not go down well with the MDC MPs on the panel.

Masvingo Urban MP Tongai Matutu then rose and shouted, "Let her answer the question. Do you want her to get away with murder".

The matter was later settled but Kazembe protested what she termed "insults from MP Matutu" before leaving the Senate Chamber.

Some of the candidates who intervied included former MP Shephered Mukwekwedzeke, ZITF chief executive officer Daniel Chigaro, Dr Godwell Shana, Professor Geoff Feltoe and Mukhululi Nyathi. The panel of MPs, Obert Gutu, Marbel Chinomona, Tabitha Khumalo, Fortune Charumbira and Edward Mkhosi was asking a set of seven questions supported by supplementary questions.

Some of the question were about the functions of ZEC, and relevant experiences the candidates would bring to the commission and which national and regional guidelines and protocols govern the conduct of free and fair elections. The other question was on the candidates’ understanding of an independent electoral commission.

The SROC will have to come up with a list of 12 successful candidates that it will send to President Robert Mugabe to which he will chose 9 commissioners to be appointed to ZEC. Parliament is now left with interviews for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Anti-Corruption commission.