ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission chair, Priscilla Chigumba has hit back at MDC legislators who booed and labelled her “thief” when she briefly appeared in parliament recently for the swearing in of the Speaker of Parliament.
She was in the company of Chief Justice Luke Malaba.
Chigumba, told a local weekly that those who accuse her of rigging the 2018 election on behalf of Zanu PF were sore losers as she scorned the behaviour of opposition MPs.
“Their behaviour can best be explained as political posturing meant to ingratiate themselves with their supporters for reasons best known to them,” she said.
The High Court judge denies opposition claims she manipulated the poll adding that the poll management authority’s “conscience is clear”.
She said she did not fault the MDC MPs for exercising their right to express their opinions but found everything wrong with them doing so on the basis of unproven claims.
“…Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and expression. However, I think it is grossly unfair to hurl unsubstantiated accusations at someone under the guise of exercising freedom of expression.”
During the period leading up to the polls, social media went abuzz with accusations the ZEC boss was out to steal the vote on Zanu PF’s behalf. Some comments bordered on bare insults on her person.
In her comments, Chigumba was evidently peeved by the abuse insisting her accusers, among them, individuals of repute, went beyond the normal to malign her for doing her work.
“…I hold the considered view that there is an invisible line which must never be crossed.
“Unfortunately, it was crossed not for purposes of achieving any positive outcome, but purely to feed misogynistic prejudices and to maliciously distort a well-managed process and its outcome by sore losers.
“The social media was used to peddle falsehoods, hatred and threats on a fellow commissioner and on my person. However, I was not physically harmed by anyone.”
Chigumba challenged elected opposition MPs to use their terms in the house to change electoral laws that they were unhappy with so that they could be better served in 2023.
“Those who are unhappy with the current law are encouraged to work towards changing it now so that it accurately reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people and so that the electoral law will never again be the root cause of polarisation in our electoral processes,” she said.