Chamisa was part of committee that appointed Chigumba ZEC Chairperson

ZEC boss Priscilla Chigumba


MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has dropped an earth-shattering claim, by sensationally revealing that CCC leader Nelson Chamisa was a member of a Parliamentary Commitee that interviewed and appointed Priscillar Chigumba Chairman of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Senator Douglas Mwonzora made the revelation while accusing freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono of double standards after the latter blamed the opposition party for the appointment of Mrs Abigail Millicent Ambrose-Mohadi to ZEC.

In a series of Twitter messages, Mwonzora said Chin’ono never blamed Nelson Chamisa, then representative of the MDC, when ZEC chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba was appointed under similar circumstances. Mwonzora responded to the accusations:

Hopewell Chingono seeks to blame the MDC for the appointment of Mrs Abigail Ambrose-Mohadi by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Commissioner in ZEC. This is just the usual and cheap propaganda. The record has to be set straight.

Ever since the promulgation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the MDC has been part and parcel of the interviewing of Commissioners of all Independent Commissions. However, it has never numerically dominated the interviewing panels.

When Priscilla Chigumba was interviewed at Parliament some time ago MDC was represented by Nelson Chamisa, Prosper Mutseyami and Innocent Gonese in the interviewing panel. Why then does Chin’ono not blame them for Chigumba’s appointment?

This year Commissioner Ambrose-Mohadi was shortlisted on the basis of her qualifications which were objectively verified. We did not consider the circumstances of her birth as a basis for her disqualification.

During the interviews the MDC representatives including myself constituted 30% of the interviewing panel. On the basis of partisanship alone, it follows that the MDC could not singularly decide the outcome of interviews.

During the interview, individual panellists assign scores to the candidate. An aggregate score is then prepared for each candidate. This takes into account the score by each member of the panel. The top 15 candidates were then shortlisted.

From the list of the 15 candidates, the President was supposed to appoint the six Commissioners using his own discretion in terms of the constitution. In that final selection, no member of Parliament has any say.

It is unfair to blame any MP for the final choice that the President makes. However, there is no law currently that disallows children of prominent people or politicians from being appointed to public positions.

The procedure regarding the interview of Commissioners was the same this year when we sat in the Ambrose-Mohadi interview as it was when Chamisa, Innocent Gonese and Prosper Mutseyami set in the Chigumba interview.

Meanwhile, critics say Mwonzora it’s misleading for Mwonzora to maintain that Abigail Mohadi was qualified for the post, especially after her “inability to answer any question.”

Davis Laque says, in as far as qualifications are concerned, “it’s clear that Abigal Mohadi found herself on that list of candidates interviewed by Parliament through the Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC), not because of any capacity.”

He also said it is misleading for Mwonzora to claim that with 30% membership in the SROC, MDC-T had no power to decide the outcome of the interviews as they could veto Mohadi’s candidature.

Laque also says is aware that by virtue of being a child of a ZANU PF Vice President, Abigal Mohadi’s candidature for the ZEC post is controversial and militates against basic principles of governance.

He also said the cases of Abigail Mohadi and that of Chigumba are different because, unlike Mohadi, the ZEC chair “wasn’t a clear ‘controversial’ candidate as she actually showed qualifications for the job.”

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