HARARE-- The new chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Justice Priscilla Chigumba, has pledged to deliver free, fair and credible polls later this year in line with the dictates of the country's laws on the conduct of elections.

Justice Chigumba, who replaces Justice Rita Makarau who resigned in December last year, was speaking soon after being sworn in as the substantive ZEC Chairperson by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State

House Harae Thursday.

The Zimbabwean Constitution stipulates that the chairperson of the ZEC should be a judge or a former judge or a person qualified for appointment as a judge.

Justice Chigumba said she was aware of the huge task ahead, but was not daunted by it. It is a delight to serve one's country in this capacity as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, and I promise the people of Zimbabwe that I will deliver a free, fair and credible election, she said.

What the commission needs to do is very clearly set out in terms of the law. My mandate is just to be an umpire and ensure that there is fairness in the process of Zimbabweans electing their leaders so it is a very clear mandate and I intend to discharge it.

She also promised to look into concerns raised by various political parties and stakeholders on different issues relating to the elections.

Some political parties have questioned the impartiality of the ZEC despite it being an independent commission but Justice Chigumba said as a judge, she was well versed with the requirements of the law, and would administer it according to its dictates.

We will look into all those issues and do our best because it is our intention to deliver a credible election, she said.

On the current voter registration exercise, Justice Chigumba said the ZEC would produce a credible voters' roll. We cannot go to elections without a credible voters' roll that is what we are working on, we will deliver a credible voters' roll.

Although no date has been set yet for this year's elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said they would be held in five month's time.