The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced that only three senior officials will be authorized to speak on behalf of the elections management body. According to a statement released by ZEC on the 20th of February 2023, the decision was made in compliance with the Electoral Act.
The Chronicle reported that ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, her deputy Rodney Kiwa, and Chief Elections Officer Utoile Silaigwana will be the only officials permitted to communicate on behalf of ZEC. The trio will be solely responsible for ZEC’s communication affairs.
Chigumba stated that the appointment of the three spokespersons was in line with the Electoral Act and ZEC’s Public Relations and Communication Policy. The designated officials were identified as Chairperson Honourable Justice P M Chigumba, Deputy Chairperson Ambassador R Kiwa, and Chief Elections Officer, Mr. U Silaigwana.
The announcement means that members of the public and the electorate must refer all media queries to the three designated officials. ZEC has also vowed to respond to all media queries within 72 hours of receipt.
Prior to the directive, Jasper Mangwana was the ZEC spokesperson after taking over from Joyce Laetitia Kazembe on the 18th of March 2022.
The move by ZEC is likely to streamline communication and ensure consistency in messaging from the electoral management body. It remains to be seen how this directive will impact the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe.