MDC Alliance candidate Nelson Chamisa claims that at least 700 000 votes cast in the July 30 presidential elections cannot be accounted for and believes the anomaly is an indication the polls were manipulated to ensure President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.
BY CHARLES LAITON/BLESSED MHLANGA
According to Chamisa’s petition filed at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Friday challenging Mnangagwa’s 50,8% win in the controversial election, figures announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) do not reflect the correct outcome.
He believes he garnered 2 674 032 votes against Mnangagwa’s 2 008 639, which makes him the winner.
Zec gives the total number of registered voters as 5 659 383 and says about 72% of these cast their votes. This would put the number of people that voted at 4 032 000, yet the electoral body gives the number of people that voted as 4 775 640 and 4 774 878 as announced at Zec’s command centre and on the commission’s CD respectively.
“That means from the results announced by Zec, more than 700 000 votes cannot be accounted for,” said Chamisa in his founding
“Obviously, that huge figure materially affects the outcome of the election.”
Chamisa said a mix-up in Zec’s figures robbed him of the presidency. He said his numbers were based on figures in the electoral body’s server.
“Although I am not the one on trial, I point out that my tally of votes is 2 674 032 as against 2 008 639 for the first respondent [Mnangagwa],” he said.
“That is in terms of what is on the Zec server. I will, by separate process, subpoena those results,” he said.
“I point out that these are the entries made in real time by Zec before it connived to change the results.
“The results announced by Zec do not tally with what Zec has. In addition, this is what a verification process would have eliminated before a wrong result was announced.
“On that basis, the result cannot stand. The discrepancies are material. They put in issue the integrity of the entire computation.”
Chamisa argued that the final result did not tally with figures recorded on voting day.
“It is accepted that the total number of registered voters is slightly above 5 659 583,” he wrote.
“It was announced by Zec that the total votes cast were 72% of the registered voters when parliamentary results were announced.
“The effect of that is the votes cast should be slightly above 4 032 000 on that computation.”
He accused Zec of double-counting and overstating results. He gave an example of Mbire polling station, which was added twice giving Mnangagwa an extra 1 815 votes.
“As a result, Chamisa gained an extra 229 votes, while Mnangagwa got 2 293 votes and thus a gap of 1 815 votes in favour of Mnangagwa,” the opposition leader said.
“In total, considering these duplicate counts, the total prejudice to Chamisa was a 6 787 gap with Mnangagwa.”
He said the actual number of votes cast on July 30 in the presidential election was 4 774 878, but the results on the Zec server showed 4 774 939 people voted.
Zec results showed that 4 847 998 voted with Mnangagwa winning by 2 460 463 against Chamisa’s 2 147 436. Spoilt ballots were 72 358, while the valid vote was 4 775 640.
“Further disregarding wrong constituency and ward aggregates by Zec; focusing on the polling station results, I recalculated the accurate total to be 4 774 878, with Zec’s by-polling station total being 4 774 939,” Chamisa said.
“Effectively, none of the totals announced on the television by Zec or the constituency aggregates or ward aggregates, or the by-polling station aggregates matched — raising serious concerns regarding the credibility of the results processing and quality assurance by Zec.”
He claimed Zec added 40 000 non-existent votes to help Mnangagwa to win the presidency.
“On the results announced by Zec, the presidential tally was in all provinces higher than the House of Assembly one,” he said.
“What that means is that by some unlawful and illicit process, the presidential tally was modified.
“The result announced is accordingly unfounded…it shows that the tally has an excess of some 40 000 votes, which circumstance materially affects the outcome of the election.”
Chamisa said the difference between National Assembly and presidential election votes could not be explained.
“Whereas the number of valid vote casts may vary, the number of total ballot papers used in a harmonised election must still tally for all levels be it local government, parliamentary and presidential,” he said.
“For example, on entry to the polling station each voter is given three ballot papers …because all these are given to every individual the total of all ballots no matter how they are utilised must tally at the end of the process,” he said.
According to results released by Zec and noted in the application, the total number of votes cast in the National Assembly election are 4 734 161 while in the presidential election they were 4 774 878, reflecting a difference of 40 717.
Chamisa also alleged that V11 forms were tampered with citing an alleged incident at Ngezi Primary School.
“There were two fraudulent aspects of that return as Mnangagwa polled nine votes but a clear latter interpolation two figures ‘five’ and ‘four’ were put albeit clumsily ahead of the nine to give Mnangagwa 549 votes,” he said.
“In addition, there was an unsuccessful attempt to rub off the total number of ballot papers.
“This was to accommodate the latter interpolation referred to above. The fraud is stuck and shows how this election was handled,” he said.
Chamisa also alleged a number of irregularities, which include double counting of votes and mathematical errors, which had a significant impact on the poll outcome.
He also argues that the election was not held in line with constitutional requirements citing abuse of State media, traditional healers and alleged manipulation of the law by Zec to favour the incumbent.
He wants the court to reverse Zec’s declaration of Mnangagwa as the winner. Alternatively, Chamisa wants the court to order a re-run of the polls.
The matter is set to be heard by a full ConCourt bench.