Africa 3.8.2018 07:55 am

Nelson Chamisa claims ZEC’s results are ‘unverified and fake’

New interim Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on after he was officially sworn-in during a ceremony in Harare on November 24, 2017. Picture: AFP Photo / Mujahid Safodien.

New interim Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on after he was officially sworn-in during a ceremony in Harare on November 24, 2017. Picture: AFP Photo / Mujahid Safodien.

After Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared Zimbabwe’s president the leader of MDC-Alliance claims he has ‘proof’ of skulduggery.

The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) announced the results of who won Monday’s Zimbabwean presidential election at about 00.40 on Friday morning.

There were 23 presidential candidates in total. Only two received significant support.

Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance received 2,147,436 votes, constituting 44.3% of the total.

Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu-PF received 2,460,463 votes, constituting 50.8% of the total.

ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba announced that voter turnout had been high.

She expressed her regrets at the post-election violence, and urged her countrymen to take their place in the international community.

Moments earlier, at about half past midnight, a representative from the MDC-Alliance had appeared to hijack the stage at the events centre in Harare and said they were rejecting the results because they had not been verified by party agents. He said the results were fake.

He was removed by police guards. His message made it clear that the MDC Alliance was likely to contest the results.

Shortly thereafter, Mnangagwa was announced as the winner. Chigumba said the fact that he won more than half the votes cast meant he could be declared the outright winner, with effect from 3 August 2018.

Mnangagwa won six of the ten provinces, with four going to Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.

Chamisa dominated in urban areas, while Mnangagwa was more popular in rural areas, and led the popular vote.

Zanu-PF had already won the parliamentary vote by a landslide, it was announced on Wednesday.

On Friday morning Chamisa started tweeting about what he considers the electoral fraud.

Chamisa has faced rising criticism, including from ANC members, at what they allege are dangerous and irresponsible responses likely to engender violence from his supporters.

Mnangagwa had earlier tweeted his thanks to the electorate.

Watch the video feed of the announcement below, courtesy of the SABC:

Per province the winners were as follows (in order of their announcement):

  • Harare Metropolitan was won by the MDC Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa.

Nelson Chamisa received 548 848  and Emmerson Mnangagwa got 204 710.

 

  • Masvingo was won by Zanu-PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Chamisa received 117 196 votes and Mnangagwa 319 073 votes.

 

  • Mashonaland East went to Mnangagwa.

Chamisa received 189 024 and Mnangagwa 334 617 votes.

 

  • Matabeleland South was won by Mnangagwa.

Chamisa received 90 292 and Mnangagwa 107 008.

 

  • Bulawayo went to Chamisa.

Chamisa received 144 160 and Mnangagwa 60 168.  

 

  • Matabeleland North was in favour of Chamisa.

Chamisa received 137 611 and Mnangagwa 111 452.

 

  • Mashonaland Central was overwhelmingly won by Mnangagwa.

Chamisa received 97 097 votes and Mnangagwa 366 785.

 

  • Midlands went to Mnangagwa.

Chamisa received 255 059 votes and Mnangagwa 350 754.

 

  • Manicaland was narrowly won by Chamisa.

Chamisa received 296 429 votes and Mnangagwa got 292 938 votes.

 

  • Mashonaland West went to Mnangagwa.
Chamisa got 217 732, while 312 958 went to Mnangagwa.

Earlier:

Zimbabwe braced Thursday evening for the results of landmark presidential elections — the first since the ousting of Robert Mugabe — which have already sparked a deadly crackdown on protesters.

The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) said it would begin releasing results of the high-stakes vote at 10pm.

Downtown Harare was unusually quiet a day after six people were killed when troops fired live rounds against demonstrators alleging the vote had been rigged.

Soldiers and police cleared the city centre, shouting at pedestrians and traders to leave, as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) continued to charge that the ruling ZANU-PF had stolen the election.

“What they have been trying to do of late is to play around,” MDC leader Nelson Chamisa told reporters.

“That is rigging, that is manipulation, trying to bastardise the result, and that we will not allow.”

The government has accused the MDC of inciting Wednesday’s unrest and vowed to enforce a security clampdown.

Soldiers stood guard at ZANU-PF headquarters on Thursday, while armoured personnel carriers, water cannon trucks and police anti-riot vans took position outside MDC headquarters.

Earlier:

Police say they are ready to deal with any possible reactions to the news and that the plan includes the deployment of the army.

This is despite the death toll from Wednesday’s violence increasing to six partly because the army used excessive force by beating up civilians and firing live ammunition at protesters.

“The police and other security services are firmly on the ground monitoring and patrolling Harare CBD and other surrounding areas with a view of maintaining law and order,” the Zimbabwean police’s Charity Charamba said.

Charamba was asked whether government was not concerned that there may be more deaths.

“When the army is deployed they will carry their orders under the command of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.”

The police say 26 people have been arrested, including eight opposition MDC Alliance officials.

A lawyer for the MDC Alliance said earlier the search and seizure operation this afternoon amounted to harassment.

A scuffle broke out after journalists were invited to come into the MDC Alliance headquarters where police were conducting a search operation.

Party lawyer Danford Halumani said the officers found nothing incriminating.

“There was nothing that was validated by their search warrant or what they were doing here.”

“I would say this is plain harassment. In fact, it’s a diversion. People should be focused on the release of the results now.”

When police earlier announced that the death toll had climbed, they explained: “Our investigation also established that the number of deaths, and it’s really regrettable and unfortunate, has risen to six as three of the victims succumbed to injury while seeking medical attention,” Zimbabwe police spokesperson Charity Charamba said during a media briefing.

“A total of 22 shops were damaged in Harare during the skirmishes while eight vehicles which were in the central business district were damaged.”

Charamba appealed for calm, calling on political leaders not to make irresponsible statements.

Post-election violence broke out in Harare on Wednesday as suspected opposition MDC Alliance supporters protested against the ZEC and the delayed release of the presidential results.

The situation remains tense, police added, saying it was not true that people were instructed to leave the streets of Harare.

“The presidential election results will start to be announced around 10pm,” ZEC commissioner Qhubani Moyo said.

“We are hopeful that all of them will be announced today.”

Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Thursday ratcheted up pressure over the country’s election count, saying he had won the presidential vote and that the result was being rigged.

Earlier it was reported that Tendai Biti, the senior official of MDC’s seven-party coalition who was reported to be wanted by Zimbabwean police on Thursday morning had been let off the hook for now.

Biti told the SABC that he had planned to hand himself over to police at 2pm on Thursday, but when his lawyers went to a police station to find out what the charges were they were told to leave their contact details and that Biti did not have to hand himself in.

He described the move by police as “victimisation” and said that he and the MDC were “used to it”.

Earlier:

The government accused the MDC opposition party of inciting the unrest and vowed to enforce a security clampdown.

But President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he wanted an independent investigation into the killings, and that he sought to settle differences “peacefully”.

He reached out to his MDC Alliance opponent Nelson Chamisa regarding the prevailing tense situation in the country.

“We have been in communication with Nelson Chamisa to discuss how to immediately defuse the situation, and we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear,” he said on his official Twitter account.

“It is also more important than ever that we are united, and commit to settling our differences peacefully and respectfully, and within the confines of the law.”

Mnangagwa, who Wednesday night blamed Chamisa for inciting demonstrations that led to four deaths, seemed to be having a change of heart.

Thursday morning, he said there was need for him and the opposition leader to lead by example and show all Zimbabweans that peace was paramount.

“This land is home to all of us, and we will sink or swim together,” said Mnangagwa.

The ruling Zanu-PF presidential candidate mourned the victims of military attacks on civilians.

“I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims of yesterday’s violence. All human life is sacred, and their deaths are a tragedy, irrespective of the circumstances,” he said.

Mnangagwa also wished a speedy recovery to all those injured in clashes, adding what was important now was moving “beyond yesterday’s tragic events, and to move forward together”.

Violent protests broke out in Harare on Wednesday, as suspected opposition MDC Alliance supporters said they were defending their votes against electoral fraud.

Government responded by deploying the police, and eventually the military, as protesters went on a rampage, burning vehicles and destroying properties.

On Thursday, soldiers were on guard outside the headquarters of the ruling ZANU-PF, while armoured personnel carriers, water cannon trucks and police anti-riot vans took position outside the MDC headquarters.

Two Zimbabwean soldiers wearing balaclavas shout orders to street vendors and money changers in the Copacabana market in Harare, on August 2, 2018.
Zimbabwe soldiers and police were on the streets of Harare on August 2 as authorities came under increasing pressure to release results of the presidential election after a deadly crackdown on protesters. Soldiers on a truck and on foot patrolled the streets of the market instructing vendors and passersby to leave. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI

Soldiers brandishing assault rifles and police shouted at pedestrians and traders to leave central Harare, AFP witnessed.

“I wasn’t sure whether it’s safe to come to work. We had to consult among ourselves,” said one worker who declined to give his name.

In a late-night press conference on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu warned further protests would not be tolerated.

“The opposition… are testing our resolve and I think they are making a big mistake,” he said.

The MDC said the army had opened fire “for no apparent reason,” killing unarmed civilians.

The presidential election race has pitted 75-year-old Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former ally in ZANU-PF, against the MDC’s leader, Nelson Chamisa, 35 years his junior.

Earlier

Soldiers were earlier reported to be circling Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, telling vendors and other people that they had until noon to leave the city centre.

While it was not yet entirely clear when the electoral commission would announce the next set of results from Monday’s election, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said it might announce the presidential vote results on Thursday at 9pm or on Friday, adding that it had until Saturday to do so.

Witnesses also asserted the death toll in post-election violence in Zimbabwe had risen to at least six people following clashes between protesters and Zimbabwe security forces, NewsDay reported on Thursday.

Members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), angered at what they say are rigged election results, and Zimbabwean soldiers and police clashed in Harare.

NewsDay reported the city centre resembled a war zone, with soldiers driving in their armoured vehicles and indiscriminately firing live ammunition at anyone they found in the central business district, with several passersby caught in the crossfire.

While police have confirmed that three people died, witnesses claimed at least six people were shot dead.

The military was also reported to have opened fire at the residential home of MDC Zengeza West member of parliament Job Sikhale following skirmishes in the capital.

“Gunshots at my house as I speak. Family scared, but am reassuring them I’m prepared to die,” Sikhala posted on his blog.

Grandmother Sylvia Matambo, from Harare’s Waterfalls suburb and an employee of Zimbabwe National Water Authority, died after she was caught in crossfire and shot in the back.

Meanwhile, a senior official of MDC’s seven-party coalition, Tendai Biti, agreed to hand himself over to the Zimbabwean police amid claims that he had incited violence and hatred during protests in Harare on Wednesday, which culminated in the army opening fire and killing three people.

The wreckage of a market stall burns in the streets of Harare on August 1, 2018, after protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country’s election.
Protests in Zimbabwe’s historic elections turned bloody on August 1 as a man was shot dead during demonstrations over alleged vote fraud and the president appealed for calm. The man died after soldiers fired live ammunition during opposition protests in downtown Harare, AFP reporters saw. / AFP PHOTO / ALEX MCBRIDE

Biti was finance minister in the 2009 to 2013 government, which saw Zanu-PF and opposition parties under the MDC alliance share power, and is said to be a respected politician in Zimbabwe.

Biti’s lawyer told SABC News: “Through a press conference by [a police inspector] the Zimbabwe Republic Police indicated that they are desirous of speaking to Tendai Biti.

“Be that as it may, I can confirm that Mr Biti will present himself to the police today at 2 o’clock.”

On Tuesday, Biti alleged at a press conference at MDC headquarters in Harare that the authorities were delaying the publication of results because MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa had won the presidential election.

READ MORE: Zim’s MDC Alliance alleges electoral fraud, assassination orders

He addressed a media conference, saying the electoral body’s conduct was “totally unacceptable”.

“ZEC is taking its time to transmit results from polling stations to wards and to constituency centres, and this delay is totally unacceptable particularly in urban centres like Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo,” he said.

Biti cited his own constituency, Harare East, as an example, saying despite the fact that they finished the whole process at 3am, ZEC had not pushed the results to the constituency command centre.

He added: “It is in this period of delay and uncertainty that merchants of chaos and bishops of electoral frauds will do their own things.”

The MDC Alliance called on ZEC to immediately comply with the law and start making formal declarations at constituencies as required.

Biti revealed the opposition had written to the electoral body asking them to produce the V11 forms. The V11 form summarises everything that would have taken place at a polling station.

“As we speak, it has been discovered that ZEC did not post V11 forms at 21% of the polling stations, and we are gravely concerned by their failure to do so,” he said.

Biti also claimed the opposition had received information that a senior Zanu-PF official had directed that he be assassinated together with MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) invoked provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), as tensions escalated.

ZRP national spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba said Wednesday night that Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga had invoked provisions of Section 37 (1) of the Posa.

Posa was notoriously used by the administration of Mugabe to suppress dissent.

Monday’s polls — the first since autocratic president Mugabe was forced out by a brief military takeover in November — had been meant to turn the page on years of violence-marred elections and brutal repression of dissent.

But the mood quickly descended into anger and chaos as supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance opposition declared they were being cheated in the election count.

“You said you were better than Mugabe — you are the picture of Mugabe,” shouted one young male protester wearing a white T-shirt. “We need security for the people.”

Soldiers fired on demonstrators during MDC protests in downtown Harare, AFP witnesses saw, with one man killed after being shot in the stomach.

Official results Wednesday showed that the ruling ZANU-PF party had easily won most seats in the parliamentary ballot — strengthening President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s prospects of holding on to power in the key presidential race.

MDC supporters, who say their leader Nelson Chamisa won the vote, burnt tyres and pulled down street signs as protests spread from the party headquarters in Harare.

Police confirmed the death toll of three, and Mnangagwa issued a statement blaming the opposition for the unrest and fatalities.

“We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace,” he said, adding the government “went out of its way” to try to ensure the elections were peaceful.

Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power in November when Mugabe was forced to resign.

In a late-night press conference, Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu warned that the government “will not tolerate any of the actions that were witnessed today.

“The opposition … have perhaps interpreted our understanding to be weak, and I think they are testing our resolve and I think they are making a big mistake.”

A credible and peaceful vote was meant to end Zimbabwe’s international isolation and draw in foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

The MDC, which accuses the election authorities of falsifying results, said the army had opened fire “for no apparent reason” leading to the deaths of unarmed civilians.

MDC supporters, who say their leader Nelson Chamisa won the vote, burnt tyres and pulled down street signs as protests spread from the party headquarters in Harare.

Police confirmed the death toll of three, and Mnangagwa issued a statement blaming the opposition for the unrest and fatalities.

“We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace,” he said, adding the government “went out of its way” to try to ensure the elections were peaceful.

The United States embassy called for security forces “to use restraint in dispersing protesters”, saying it was “deeply concerned by events” in the Zimbabwean capital.

Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power in November when Mugabe was forced to resign.

A credible and peaceful vote was meant to end Zimbabwe’s international isolation and draw in foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

The MDC, which accuses the election authorities of falsifying results, said the army had opened fire “for no apparent reason” leading to the deaths of unarmed civilians.

Former colonial power Britain on Wednesday also called for restraint in Zimbabwe after at least three people were killed when soldiers opened fire on crowds protesting alleged fraud in this week’s election.

Foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin said on Twitter that she was “deeply concerned” by the violence in Zimbabwe following the first nationwide vote since autocratic president Robert Mugabe was forced out by a brief military takeover in November.

“Call on Zimbabwe’s political leaders to take responsibility for ensuring calm & restraint at this critical moment. We’re continuing to closely monitor the situation,” she said.

Human rights group Amnesty International called on Zimbabwe’s authorities to launch “a prompt and effective” probe into the deadly military crackdown.

“The army’s conduct should be promptly investigated, with those responsible brought to justice,” said Colm O Cuanachain, Acting Secretary General of the London-based organisation.

“The militarization of the prevailing post-election environment is muzzling freedom of expression, association and assembly.

“People must be guaranteed their right to protest,” he added.

Monday’s polls had been meant to bring an end to years of violence-marred elections and brutal repression of dissent.

‘Un-level playing field’

European Union observers had earlier declared they found an “un-level playing field and lack of trust” in the election process. It called for transparency in the release of results.

“On many occasions — preparation, financing, media and hopefully not in the counting — it was advantageous for the ruling party,” EU chief observer Elmar Brok told AFP.

Under Mugabe’s 37-year reign, elections were often marred by fraud and deadly violence, with European Union observers banned since 2002.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said Wednesday that of 210 parliamentary seats, 205 had been counted with ZANU-PF winning 144 and the MDC Alliance 61.

“The results are biased, trying to give the impression that ZANU has won,” said Lawrence Maguranyi, 21, an MDC supporter and university student protesting at the party headquarters.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the presidential results were fraudulent.

“We have won this one together. No amount of results manipulation will alter your will,” he tweeted before the army were deployed.

Delayed results?

The electoral commission warned that final results of the presidential first round may not be known until Friday or Saturday.

Commission chairwoman Priscilla Chigumba, a high court judge, has flatly denied allegations of bias and strongly disputed accusations of rigging.

Mugabe, 94, voted in Harare on Monday alongside his wife Grace after he stunned observers by calling for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

His attempts to position Grace as his successor are widely thought to have driven the military to intervene and put their favoured candidate, Mnangagwa, in power.

Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former right-hand man, was the clear election front-runner, benefitting from tacit military support and control of state resources.

But Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who performed strongly on the campaign trail, sought to tap into the youth and urban vote.

He has repeatedly accused ZANU-PF and election authorities of trying to use a flawed electoral register and fixed ballot papers to steal the election.

Mnangagwa was allegedly involved in violence and intimidation during the 2008 elections when then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off after attacks claimed the lives of at least 200 of his supporters.

Earlier:

A Zimbabwean soldier beats a man in a street of Harare on August 1, 2018 as protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country’s election.
One man was shot dead, AFP witnessed, after the Zimbabwean army opened fire in central Harare on Wednesday as protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country’s election. President Emmerson Mnangagwa on August 1 called for peace as police fired water cannon and teargas at opposition supporters in Harare over alleged fraud in Zimbabwe’s elections.
/ AFP PHOTO / Zinyange AUNTONY

Military tanks rolled on to Harare’s streets as protests rocked the Zimbabwean capital over disputed election results, reports ANA.

Tanks were seen rushing to the election command centre at Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, where presidential results are expected to be announced.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday called for peace as police had earlier fired water cannon and teargas at opposition supporters in Harare over alleged fraud in Zimbabwe’s elections.

“At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements,” he said on Twitter. “Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace.”

Zimbabwean anti riot police officers close the entrance to the Rainbow Towers where the election’s results were announced, as supporters of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), protest against alleged widespread fraud by the election authority and ruling party, in Harare, on August 1, 2018.
Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party won the most seats in parliament, official results showed on August 1, 2018, but EU observers criticised the Zimbabwe elections for being held on an “un-level playing field”. / AFP PHOTO / Luis TATO

MDC supporters burnt tyres and pulled down street signs as protests spread from the party headquarters in Harare.

“Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace,” wrote Mnangagwa on his verified Twitter account.

“At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements.”

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the presidential results were fraudulent.

“ZEC seeks to… reverse the people’s presidential election victory. The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results,” he tweeted. “We won the popular vote and will defend it!”

 

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