President Emmerson Mnangagwa has signed into law the Census and Statistics Amendment Bill to bring the national census forward from 2022 to before July 2021.
The signing into law of the Bill was announced by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda in a Government Gazette recently.
The holding of the national census next year will give the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ample time to delimit all 210 constituency boundaries for the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections using up-to-date census data.
The Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) had also been calling for the passing of the census law to be expedited. ZESN chairperson Andrew Makoni said:
The census is governed by legislation and can be easily amended without effecting changes to the Constitution. The move to amend the Census and Statistics Act is consistent with calls by ZESN for the census to be moved backwards to address concerns around the process of delimiting electoral boundaries, instead of delinking the delimitation exercise from the population census.
The coming into effect of the Census and Statistics Amendment Act means ZEC will redraw the 210 constituency seats for 2023 polls in a manner that reflects the present population distribution premised on latest census data.