Aug. 23, 2023 Held


Republic of Zimbabwe

Election for Zimbabwean Senate

General Information

At Stake in this Election: 

  • 60 seats in the Zimbabwean Senate 

This election occurs concurrently with the presidential, National Assembly, and municipal council elections. 

Government Structure:  

  • Chief of State: President Emmerson Dambudzo MNANGAGWA (since 24 November 2017) 

  • Head of Government: President Emmerson Dambudzo MNANGAGWA (since 24 November 2017) 

  • Assembly: bicameral Parliament with an 80-seat Senate and a 270-seat National Assembly 

Electoral System:  

  • The President is directly elected by absolute majority vote in up to two rounds and may serve an unlimited number of 5-year terms. 

  • In the Senate, 60 members are directly elected via proportional representation vote in multi-seat constituencies (provinces). An additional 16 members are indirectly elected by regional councils, while 2 seats are reserved for people with disabilities and 2 are reserved for chiefs of the National Council. All members serve 5-year terms. 

  • In the National Assembly, 210 members are directly elected by plurality vote in single-seat constituencies. The remaining 60 seats are filled by women directly elected via proportional representation vote. All members serve 5-year terms. 

Last Election: 

In 2018, the Zimbabwe Africa National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won a majority in the Senate with 34 seats. The Movement for Democratic Change Alliance won 25 seats, and the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (1). Voter turnout was 80%. 

New/Unique in this Election: 

Zimbabwean courts upheld a 2022 law that increased candidate registration fees to USD $20,000 for presidential candidates (a 20-fold increase) and USD $1,000 for parliamentary candidates. In June 2023, Parliament also passed the Criminal Law Code Amendment, a law that broadly prohibits acts against “the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe.” Opposition candidates have expressed concerns that this law could be used to punish those who criticize the government. 

Key Deadlines: 

  • Candidate filing deadline: 21 June 2023 

  • Extended to 22 June 2023 for partially registered candidates due to fee transfer delays caused by systemic banking issues 

  • Voter registration deadline: 2 June 2023 

Main Parties in this Election: 

  • Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) 

  • Leader: Emmerson MNANGAGWA 

  • Seats won in last election: 34 out of 60 

  • Citizen’s Coalition for Change (CCC) 

  • Leader: Nelson CHAMISA 

  • Seats won in last election: 0 (formed in 2022) 

  • Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T) 

  • Leader: Douglas MWONZORA 

  • Seats won in last election: 1 out of 60 

  • Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) 

  • Leader: Sibangilizwe Michael NKOMO 

  • Seats won in last election: 0 out of 60 

Population and Registered Voters: 

Gender Data: 

  • CEDAW Status: Ratified (by accession) 13 May 1991 

  • Gender Quota:  Within the National Assembly, there are 60 seats reserved for women, six from each province. Candidate lists for Senate elections must alternate between men and women. 

  • Female Candidates in this election: Yes 

  • Number of Female Legislators (pre-election): 34 out of 77 (44.2%) in the Senate, 81 out of 265 (30.6%) in the National Assembly 

  • Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 0.593, Medium, Rank 146 (2021) 

Disability Data: 

IFES Resources: 

  • Does IFES have a presence in Zimbabwe: No 

  • Election Access: Yes 

  • Election Judgements: Yes; 8 judgements and 16 resources  

Election Modified: Sep 11, 2023

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