Zec appoints substantive Chief Elections Officer
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has appointed Utoile Silaigwana as substantive Chief Elections Officer with immediate effect.
Until now, Silaigwana had been acting Chief Elections Officer having taken over from Constance Chigwamba in March last year.
Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Zimbabwe electoral commission is pleased to announce that it has appointed Mr Utoile Silaigwana the substantive chief elections officer with effect from July 1, 2019,” she said.
“Prior to his appointment, Mr Silaigwana has been acting Chief Elections Officer since March 2018 and he superintended over the conduct of the 2018 harmonised elections.”
Some of the duties of the Chief Elections Officer include strategizing, formulating and coordinating the activities of the commission in the conduct of all referendums and elections, guiding the commission on policy and electoral law reviews.
Silaigwana will also be in charge of providing strategic leadership to all commission staff as the head of the secretariat.
Chigumba said Silaigwana had 17 years experience in elections management having served in the then Electoral Supervisory Commission between 2002 and 2005 before joining Zec at its inception in 2005 as director voter education and public relations.
At Zec, he rose through the ranks becoming deputy Chief Elections Officer in charge of operations in 2007 and subsequently Chief Elections Officer.
“Mr Silaigwana is a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Education, University of Zimbabwe and a Masters’ degree in Electoral Policy and Administration (MEPA) Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna University in Italy,” Chigumba said.
Silaigwana also holds several certificates in elections management, she said.
Zimbabwe is due to hold its next general elections in 2023, and in preparation of that Zec has already held a national multi-stakeholder conference to reflect on last year’s polls in order to draw lessons on how to improve the coming plebiscite.
The conference, held in April this year, was attended by stakeholders from within Zimbabwe, the Sadc region and beyond.