Guruve-South is set to conduct a by-election on the 23rd of April 2016 to elect a new Member of Parliament following the expulsion from the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) and the subsequent recall from Parliament of Hon Chriswell Mutematsaka. Below is a Constituency profile of Guruve South which seeks to inform stakeholders about the electoral history, political economy and associated information on the Constituency and by-election.
Guruve-South Constituency biography
Guruve-South is a rural Constituency that falls under Guruve Rural District Council (RDC) which is found in Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe. It is one of 17 rural constituencies in Mashonaland Central with only Bindura being a mixed constituency. The constituency comprises of Shinje, Mudindo and Jester. Guruve has 2 districts which are Upper Guruve Rural District and Lower Guruve Rural District which is locally referred to as Mbire District. Upper Guruve district is demarcated into 2 Constituencies which are Guruve-North Constituency and Guruve-South Constituency. Guruve South Constituency is located on a high plateau, overlooking the valley to the North.
Socio-economic outlook of the Constituency
The soils are good and good rains make it possible to cultivate crops such as maize, cotton and groundnuts. The infrastructure is well developed at growth points such as Mudindo and people derive livelihoods from cultivating crops and gold panning. However, the constituency remains poor and under developed with little prospects for changing livelihoods.
Understanding Guruve-South demographics
Guruve district has a total population of 124041 and of the total population 60490 (48.8%) are females while 63551 (51.2%) are males (Zimstats-2012).
The constituency has been dominated by ZANU PF with the opposition making little headway, if any. In 2013, Guruve-South had 35831 registered voters.
Parliamentary Results since 2000[table “49” not found /]
Why the by-election?
The By-Election in Guruve-South was necessitated by the expulsion from the ZANU PF party and subsequent recall from Parliament of Hon Chriswell Mutematsaka on the 20th of January 2016, in line with Section 129 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Section 159 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandates the Electoral Management Body to ensure the holding of the election. In accordance with Section 39 (2) of the Electoral Act gazette, the President proclaimed 23 April 2016 as the date on which a by-election to elect the Member of Parliament for Guruve-South shall be held. This is in line with constitutional provision Section 158 (3) relating to polling in by-elections being held within 90 days after the vacancy occurs. Furthermore, Section 159 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandates responsible authorities to ensure the holding of the election.
Who shall contest?
The Nomination Court sat at Bindura Magistrate Court on Friday 26 February 2016 in terms of Section 46 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) to receive nominations of candidates for election for the constituency of Guruve-South and two (2) candidates successfully filed their nominations. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission published the names of Patrick Dutiro (Zanu-PF) and Simbarashe Mutsvene (NCA) as the nominees for the Guruve-South By-election.
Who shall observe?
The Election Resource Centre shall observe the Election process alongside other accredited stakeholders involved in election observation and ordinary citizens interested in tracking the electoral process.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) conducted voter education in Guruve-South constituency as follows:
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) conducted voter education in Guruve-South constituency as follows:[table “50” not found /]
The polling station based voter registration was implemented in Guruve South with effect from the 19th to the 23rd of February 2016, from 0700hrs-1700hrs daily during this period. ZEC established 57 voter registration centers in the constituency to allow for new registration, transfers, deletions, inspection and correction among other things. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission shall be using the voters’ roll that was used during the 2013 Harmonized elections as the basis for the exercise. Essentially, while voting will be polling specific, the Ward based voters’ roll remains lawful until government gazettes polling station voting. ZEC has explained that this is in an effort not to disenfranchise those on the new ZEC roll.
National Assembly By-Elections Polling Stations
In terms of Section 51 (3)of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], Zimbabwe Electoral Commission identified 57 polling stations for polling on the 23rd of April 2016 in Guruve South Constituency. The polling stations have been set up at schools, farms, business centers, mines and tents and polling shall take place from 7:00am to 7:00pm for the purpose of electing a member of the National Assembly. The Commission appointed Mr Onesimo Tevedzai as the Constituency Election Officer for the constituency and the DA’S office, Government Complex Boardroom in Guruve as the Constituency Command Center.
What to expect?
The election will be contested by NCA and Zanu PF and as most opposition parties have boycotted the by election including MDC-T, the MDC, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU). They have demanded that there must be electoral reform before any elections are conducted in Zimbabwe.