In a significant political development, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has unveiled the list of candidates set to fill the recent vacancies within the National Assembly and the Senate. These openings arose following the dismissal of members elected in August, under the directive of Sengezo Tshabangu, who has controversially declared himself the interim secretary general.
Notably, Tshabangu is among the individuals selected to occupy these vacated seats, marking a pivotal turn in the nation’s political landscape. His involvement in two substantial recalls has led to by-elections that were conducted on December 9 of the previous year and February 3, setting the stage for the current replacements.
The allocation of these seats adheres to a system of proportional representation, drawing from the outcomes in 210 contested seats across the nation. This approach also extends to the filling of 60 seats designated for women in the National Assembly, alongside 10 youth seats within the same body, and an additional 60 seats in the Senate.
The recent recall affected several members from the National Assembly, specifically from Bulawayo and Matebeleland South province, including Stabile Mlilo, Jasmine Toffa, Janeth Dube, Evidence Sivina Zana, and Velisiwe Nkomo. Their replacements have been identified as Nomvula Mguni, Otilia Siabnda, Lungile Ncube, Sikhuphukile Dube, and Sibongile Maphosa, respectively.
Similarly, the Senate witnessed the recall of members predominantly from Bulawayo, Manicaland, and Matebeleland North, including Hellen Zivira, Gideon Shoko, Siphiwe Ncube, Felix Magalela Sibanda, David Antony Chimhini, Godfrey Mativenga Madzikanda, Anastacia Moyo, Gabbuza Joel Gabuza, and Tendai Sibanda. Their successors are Lillian Mlilo, Kucaca Ivumile Phulu, Linda Sibanda, Collet Ndhlovu, Maxwell Mdhluri, Sam Chapfudza, Teresa Kabondo, Sengezo Tshabangu, and Grace Mumpande.
The commission has provided a 14-day window for the public to voice any objections to the nominated candidates assuming their new roles. This period of scrutiny is an essential step in ensuring the legitimacy and acceptance of these new appointments within Zimbabwe’s legislative framework.