ZANU-PF has nominated Central Committee member Cde Hilda Bhobho to fill the vacant Chegutu-Mhondoro senatorial seat that arose following the elevation of incumbent Cde Edna Madzongwe to be President of the Senate.
In a notice published in the Government Gazette last Friday, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the nomination of Cde Bhobho was in accordance with Section 39 (6) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13.
Cde Bhobho is a registered voter in Ward 24 of Chegutu Rural District Council, residing at 872 Chegutu Township, Chegutu, which is covered by the boundaries of the senatorial seat.
Justice Makarau called on voters wishing to object to the nomination of Cde Bhobho as Senator to do so within a period of 14 working days from the 19th of December.
The objection should be lodged in written form and should be directed to the electoral body in accordance with the law.
No by-elections are held to replace Senators as they were chosen under proportional representation and the political party that holds the seat is expected to provide replacement when a vacant arises.
Using the same law, Zec also declared Manicaland senatorial seat (Buhera) vacant in September this year, but former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr Gideon Gono, who had been proposed by Zanu-PF was disqualified as he was not a registered voter in Buhera.
The seat became vacant following the death of Cde Kumbirai Kangai in August last year and the replacement was supposed to come from a list of candidates submitted to Zec by Zanu-PF during preparations for the July 31 harmonised elections last year.
The same Government Gazette in September this year announced the Chegutu-Mhondoro seat that was held by Cde Madzongwe vacant.
According to the operations of the law in line with Section 129 (1) (d) of the Constitution, the seat of a member of Parliament becomes vacant upon the member becoming president of the Senate or Speaker of the National Assembly or on being appointed Vice President of the country.
This means Cde Madzongwe’s Chegutu Mhondoro senatorial seat fell vacant when she was appointed Senate President, while that of former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru (Mount Darwin West) fell vacant when she was appointed VP on September 11 last year.
According to the law, when that happens, it is the responsibility of Parliament to advise the electoral body of such vacancies for a by-election to be held within 90 days if its National Assembly and a replacement to be forwarded to Zec if its Senate.