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Delimitation may be flawed: Veritas – Newsday Zimbabwe

LEGAL think-tank Veritas has warned that the upcoming delimitation exercise may be flawed due to inadequate time between the 2022 census and the delimitation to effectively implement the process.

Delimitation of constituencies, the redrawing of electoral boundaries, is provided for under sections 160 and 161 of the Constitution and section 37A of the Electoral Act. 

Veritas said time for the delimitation exercise was short, with four months left before the January 28, 2023 deadline when the final delimitation report should be published.

In its latest Bill Watch on delimitation, Veritas said: “Obviously these are vital preliminary steps to delimitation, because Zec (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) cannot fix electoral boundaries without knowing how many voters there are and where they live. But they are only preliminary steps, and the actual delimiting of boundaries is yet to begin because, we understand, Zec is waiting for ZimStat to publish the final 2022 census report.”

“Of that period, two months, or at the very least six weeks will be taken up preparing the preliminary report, getting it to the President and Parliament, considering issues raised by them and then publishing the final report. That leaves only about two months for the delimitation of boundaries.”

So far Zec has conducted voter registration campaigns, and has set about cleaning up the voters roll, publishing enormous notices in the Gazette to notify the public of corrections it proposes to make to the roll.

Veritas said the new roll had not been published in terms of section 21 of the Electoral Act, and yet there were only two months left for Zec to delimit constituency boundaries and wards before the 2023 polls.

“A thorough delimitation, with commissioners going round the country looking at the situation on the ground and consulting voters and interested parties, takes more than four months — the chairperson of an earlier delimitation commission expressed the view that it would take at least six months, probably more, to do the job properly,” Veritas said.

The legal think-tank further noted that the exercise should be completed by January 28, 2023; six months before the general election, and just over four months from now.”

Independent election watchdog, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network said: “In light of the forthcoming delimitation process, there is need for Zec and other electoral stakeholders to embark on intensive voter education programmes, particularly focusing on delimitation.”

The last delimitation exercise was conducted in 2008. At that time there were complaints that constituency boundaries had been manipulated. 

The Constitution says delimitation must be conducted every 10 years or as soon as possible after a population census.

Section 161(2) further states that if a general election is held less than six months after a delimitation, the old constituency and ward boundaries must be used for the election.

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Open University Malaysia ushers a new era of online education from Malaysia – The PIE News

One of the by-products of the Covid-19 pandemic was the rise of remote learning across academic institutions. While it initially served as a countermeasure to continue providing education in the wake of the virus, the idea of a fully online tertiary education is gradually gaining momentum as people continue to handle a larger portion of their daily affairs digitally.

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Education has highest inflation: ZimStat – Newsday

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THE country’s education sector has the highest inflation compared to other sectors, according to the latest Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStat) report.

ZimStat says education had the highest inflation at 30% as of September  following a hike in tuition fees.

“Zimbabwe’s major groups with high inflation in September 2022 are: Education (30%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (12,10%), communication (8,60%) clothing and footwear (4,90%), health (3,50%) and transport (2,20%),” the report read.

Early this month, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students staged protests over a 1 000% tuition fee hike that saw learners being asked to pay as much as $500 000 per semester for undergraduate degrees.

But government said the university fees were subsidised and cheaper compared to other countries, stoking more protests. UZ authorities later reviewed the fees downwards.

Government and private schools also hiked fees when schools opened for the third term, with some learning institutions exclusively demanding United States dollars.

Last month, World Remit 2022 Cost of School ranked Zimbabwe’s education as one of the most expensive, leading to a rise in school dropouts.

The report said the cost of education in Zimbabwe was six times more than the total average income for any family.

“To advance this annual study, World Remit observed 11 new countries, looking at the standard school supply costs. Of these, Zimbabwe showed the highest costs relative to average family size and monthly income at nearly 700% of the average household income,” the report read in part.

“In Zimbabwe, costs to send a household of children to school this year will (be) more than six times the average household income for a given family.”

Teacher unions have predicted an increase in school dropouts this year owing to the harsh economic climate and given that government has given schools the greenlight to charge fees in foreign currency.

 Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

 

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Biti questions Zim law schools: graduates ‘ill-trained, undercooked, dangerous’ – New Zimbabwe.com

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By UK Correspondent


LEADING Harare lawyer and opposition legislator Tendai Biti has lamented the quality of legal training at the country’s universities accusing them of churning out poorly trained graduates onto the market.

Speaking in Parliament last week, Biti said when he trained as a lawyer “it was a vibrant community.

“We had international lectures, Law Journals that we used to write as students. We used to invite senior lawyers like Stanford Moyo to come and give us lectures at the University of Zimbabwe.”

However, although Zimbabwe now has more universities training lawyers, the quality of education has gone down in line with the general decline in standards across the country’s education sector.

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“Every university now has a Faculty of Law. I have no problem with that,” said Biti as he contributed to debate on the Judicial Services Amendment Bill.

Opposition CCC legislator Tendai Biti

“I think lawyers are now like teachers, they are everywhere but the problem is that there is no adequate staff and material to teach those students.

“I take interns at my law firm and some of the kids cannot even write their names. I was asking them to say surely you ought to know this and they said for the past two years we did not learn because of COVID.

“So, we are releasing dangerous, ill-trained, ill-prepared, under taught and under cooked graduates onto the market.”

Biti said the condition of law schools was one of many issues the Bill should address, including the dire state of the country’s courts where infrastructure is in disrepair and magistrates are forced to operate without critical provisions.

“To simply introduce this Bill in a country where we are still operating on second generation technology when other countries are on sixth generation will be a disaster,” he said.

“I submit that let us go back to the drawing board. We need to embrace technology but technology must be put in the context of the condition of the country and I doubt whether Zimbabwe is there.

“Technology must also be introduced in a situation where we are not breaching the country’s supreme laws, in particular the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

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