Was the appointment of Commissioner Abigail Mohadi Ambrose unconstitutional?

The Claim: Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Bulawayo province claimed that Commissioner Abigail Mohadi Ambrose's appointment was unconstitutional.
The Verdict: claim verdict

Claim: Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Bulawayo province claimed that Commissioner Abigail Mohadi Ambrose’s appointment was unconstitutional.

“Apart from former Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s daughter Abigail Ambrose being unconstitutionally appointed and sworn in as ZEC commissioner, of concern is the fact that Kembo Mohadi is very influential in state security circles,” read the claim.

Verdict: Misleading.

Section 237 (1) of the 2013 constitution on Appointment and removal from office of members of independent Commissions states that for the purpose of nominating persons for appointment to any independent Commission, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) must advertise the position; invite the public to make nominations; conduct public interviews of prospective candidates; prepare a list of the appropriate number of nominees for an appointment, and submit the list to the President.

In mid-January Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) published press notices notifying that six vacancies would arise in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) membership on the 6th of July 2022.

The notice also invited the public to nominate persons to be considered by the Committee for appointment to fill the vacancies- four (4) female Commissioners and two (2) male Commissioners.

The deadline was 18 February 2022.

The CSRO published that they received 72 nominations, 50 males and 22 females by the closing date of 11th February 2022. It met on Friday 20th May 2022 to consider the suitability of the nominees to serve as ZEC Commissioners.

Thirty-two candidates were shortlisted and underwent public interviews on 17th June 2022 in the Senate Chamber, Harare.

Members of the Public were invited to follow and witness the interviews on television, Facebook Live on Parliament of Zimbabwe, Parliament’s Twitter handle @ParliamentZim and through Parliament’s website www.parlyzim.co.zw

According to the schedule, Ambrose was number 16 on the list and her interview was slotted for 2 pm.

After the interviews, the six representatives were the successful candidates and President Emmerson Mnangagwa swore them in last week.

According to the Constitution section 237 (2), a member of an independent Commission may be removed from office only on the ground that the member concerned– is unable to perform the functions of his or her office because of physical or mental incapacity; has been grossly incompetent; has been guilty of gross misconduct, or has become ineligible for appointment to the Commission concerned.

Background: The appointment of Abigail Ambrose Mohadi has raised eyebrows as she is the daughter of former Vice President Kembo Mohadi. Her appointment has raised questions about the election management body’s impartiality and independence.

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