Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has continued to gnaw into President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s narrow and disputed electoral victory, tearing it bit-by-bit in a move aimed at whittling the declared victory to below percentage of the vote.
In his heads of argument Chamisa, through the aid of technical experts, argued that his opponent had not even reached the 50% mark, but was instead gifted votes by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
“It is clear that Mnangagwa fell far short of the 50%+1 votes required to avoid a run-off. On the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s published results, Mr Mnangagwa avoided a run-off by a mere 31 830 votes. However, the evidence presented shows that, at least 7 730 of these votes must be excluded due to double counting of polling stations.
A further 8 944 has been removed from the tally by Zec. A further 9 592 votes for Mnangagwa at “ghost polling stations” also fall to be disregarded,” Chamisa argued.
Chamisa brought a total of 36 609 votes (after Zec made adjustments) before the courts using the data provided by Zec, which he wants knocked off Mnangagwa’s total, before going out to lay a case on over 700 000 votes which he said were brought through the back door.
“At least 10 343 votes for Mr Mnangagwa must also be excluded, as they do not correlate with the sample of V11 forms. A full sample will likely reveal many more inflated results,” he said as he reached his total to force a run-off.
He claimed that what was before the Constitutional Court was just a tip of the iceberg and more errors could be in the offing.
“These are, but a small sample of the discrepancies and irregularities. Even on this small sample, it is clear that the irregularities affected the outcome of the elections.
At the very least, Mnangagwa would have faced a run-off if the results had been calculated correctly,” he said.
Chamisa further accused Zec of violating the law in regard to the discrepancy between total votes cast in the National Assembly poll and that of the presidency.
“Zec had through its handbook directed thus, if a voter declines to accept a ballot paper for anyone or more of the elections, this must be brought to the attention of the presiding officer. The presiding officer shall not hand the applicant a ballot paper for that election and shall record the details on this person on form PE2005/AA [Electoral Act Section 56(3a)]”
Chamisa submitted that at many polling stations, based on Zec’s own results, the number of votes cast for the presidential election exceeded the number of votes cast for each parliamentary election.
“Zec has, however, not produced returns on form PE2005/AA showing that those voters declined to participate in parliamentary elections. It seeks to rely instead on speculation,” Chamisa said.