OPPOSITION MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has called for the international community to come to Zimbabwe’s rescue “and correct the election mischief” in the wake of a report by the European Union (EU) that claimed the July polls results could not be verified and that the vote did not meet international standards.
Chamisa told NewsDay yesterday that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has squandered $5 billion since coming to power in November last year which he argued must be investigated by either a commission or Parliament.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced Mnangagwa winner of the presidential election by 50,8% of the vote while Chamisa came second with 44,3%. ZEC later revised Mnangagwa's win downwards to 50.67%. The opposition leader challenged the result at the Constitutional Court but lost.
The EU in its final report after observing the election said: “The final results announced by the electoral commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability.”
“What is clear from the EU report is that it vindicates the people of Zimbabwe that the July election result announced by Zec did not have a source or base from which it was plucked.
“That is what is meant by lacking traceability or lacking verifiability,” Chamisa said.
Asked if he thought it was feasible for Sadc and the African Union to change their position on Zimbabwe on the basis of an EU decision, Chamisa pointed out that the regional and continental bodies had not released their final reports on the polls.
“We have not seen the final Sadc report, but we are sure they noted some of the anomalies in Zimbabwe’s elections. We are now calling on the international community especially Sadc and the AU to remedy the Zec error and mischief associated with the election.
“Sadc should underwrite Zimbabwe’s return to legitimacy. We need a broad-based national consensus to avert the collapse and economic meltdown. The situation is deteriorating, the humanitarian and economic crises are a manifestation of the political reality. The political situation in Zimbabwe is a big lie and the economy is a perfect indicator of the true situation,” Chamisa said.
In its final report on the elections, the EU Observer Mission to Zimbabwe said Zec lacked the independence to run a credible election.
Data released by Treasury last week showed government spent $3.86 billion in the first half of the year, $2.5 billion between April and June alone and recorded a budget deficit of $1.35 billion against a target of $266 million.
“We are wondering how this government spent $5 billion between November last year and now. This must be a subject of a Parliamentary inquiry or a commission set up to look into this. We call this the Treasury Bill scandal and there is no reason Zimbabweans, ordinary people must be forced to shoulder this through a cruelty tax,” he said.
Government last week increased the tax on electronic transactions to two percent per dollar from a flat 5 cent fee in what is seen as a desperate effort to raise cash for government, triggering price increases across the board.