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Tensions mount as MDC claims presidential poll win

Tensions mount as MDC claims presidential poll win

ZEC head Priscilla Chigumba

by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE – THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the opposition are again on a collision course after an opposition leader
announced Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, had won the presidential election.

The announcement by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti, in Harare came ahead of the official announcement, possibly on Saturday.

Biti’s small party joined the MDC Alliance in a coalition ahead of the
watershed poll that was held on Monday.

“Nelson Chamisa has won the election and must be sworn in,” Biti said in a controversial pronouncement.

Priscilla Chigumba, the chairperson of the ZEC, warned politicians or
individuals who announce election outcome would be reported to the police.

She said they risked jail terms of six months for violating the country’s
electoral laws.

ZEC has endured allegations of vote-rigging by the MDC.

On the eve of the elections, it was confirmed ZEC had reported Chamisa to police for flouting such laws after he held a press conference a day
before the elections.

Candidates are not allowed to campaign during that period.

On Tuesday, the Zimbabwe rumour mill was churning with speculation.

Chigumba appealed for patience.

“We have harmonised elections for presidential, national assembly,
parliamentary and council elections, so, people have to be patient with
us,” she said.

She added: “All stakeholders are reminded that it is unlawful to announce
results because it is a direct contravention of Section 66A (a) (a) of the
Electoral Act. The announcement of official results by undesignated
persons have the potential of misleading the public and raise unnecessary political emotions.”

She added that announcement of results on social media was an offence.

“It is an offence in terms of the Electoral Act to announce results unless
you are a duly designated ZEC official. If you announce results that are
not official to your friend on WhatsApp that is an offence,” Chigumba
said.

ZEC on Tuesday announced seven election outcomes for seven national
assembly election, in which the Zimbabwe African National Union –
Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won six.

ZANU-PF, led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, won in Chiredzi East, Hwedza South, Marondera West, Mudzi North, Masvingo West and Masvingo South while MDC won the Gwanda Central seat.

– CAJ News

 

 

 

 

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