MDC-Alliance opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has remained defiant that he is the true president of Zimbabwe and claims that he now has clear evidence that the ruling Zanu-PF stole the election with the help of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
He said on Tuesday: “I’ve just finished going thru the evidence per our agents & V11 forms from across Zimbabwe. We WON this election emphatically. ZEC’s figures are falsified & inflated in favour of the outgoing President. We are ready for the inauguration & formation of the next gvt #Godisinit.”
He has considered himself the rightful winner from before elections even took place.
On Friday he insisted that he won the country’s landmark election, calling the official results “fraudulent, illegal, illegitimate and characterised by serious credibility gaps”.
“We won this election and we are ready to form the next government,” Chamisa told a press conference, after President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu-PF was declared victor with 50.8 percent of the vote.
Zimbabwean riot police had earlier entered the Harare hotel on Friday to break up Chamisa’s press conference. They carried shields and tear gas cannisters at the Bronte Hotel in the capital.
However, the press conference was eventually allowed to go ahead.
Chamisa alleged that the vote rigging this time around was “poorer” than under Mugabe. “The numbers don’t add up. Mugabe was at least sophisticated.”
He referred to Emmerson Mnangagwa as the “outgoing president”, and said that according to the observations of the MDC-Alliance’s own observers the MDC had won as much as 56% of the vote.
The official result put the MDC at 44.3%.
Chamisa told reporters he would not attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration. “He is the one who should attend my inauguration.”
He said they would be challenging a number of election results, and had taken legal advice on doing so. He was not yet prepared to reveal all his evidence, but would do so in time.
The party is yet to go to court, though.
He added that he was in the process of “getting in touch with President Cyril Ramaphosa” to step in and help them. Chamisa said he would fill the South African president in on the truth of what had actually happened, in the hope that he might intervene and rectify the matter.
Meanwhile, 27 MDC supporters were released on bail on Tuesday over alleged violence at last week’s post-election protests that triggered a security crackdown.
Mnangagwa has vowed to protect rights since his re-election but the opposition say their members have been targeted.
“We are very pleased obviously that they have been released,” defence lawyer Denford Halimani told AFP following the hearing at Harare’s magistrates court.
Prosecutors had opposed bail, saying the accused — 19 men and eight women — were “linked” to the deaths of six people when the army opened fire on opposition supporters protesting against alleged election fraud.
At least five of the accused are polling agents who had been visiting MDC headquarters to hand in polling returns and collect travel expenses, according to the defence.
Halimani said that the 27 were required to post bail of $50 (43 euros) and have to report to Harare police station on Friday, but were not forced to surrender their passports.
“The magistrate said the state seemed not to be prepared,” he said, adding that they would return to court on September 4 for a bail review.
“We have advised them to lay low and not to engage in any activities that might result in other charges. This system thrives on harassing people.”
The 27 denied the charges.
Wednesday’s bloodshed sparked an international outcry and raised grim memories of post-election repression under Mugabe before he was ousted last year.
Mnangagwa has accused the MDC — the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) — of fomenting the unrest, but also said he would set up an independent commission to investigate the killings.
The MDC has also accused the security forces of abducting and beating opposition activists and their families since the knife-edge election result was declared early Friday.
— Citizen Reporter, AFP