Manyika: Why I am backing Chamisa

Manyika: Why I am backing Chamisa

Source: Manyika: Why I am backing Chamisa – The Standard August 19, 2018

United States-based opposition leader Noah Manyika is one of only two opposition leaders that are backing MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s legal challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial election victory.

Noah Manyika

Manyika was one of the 23 presidential candidates in the historic July 30 polls where he represented his Build Zimbabwe Alliance.

Last week, he lodged an affidavit at the Constitutional Court in support of Chamisa’s case.

Manyika (NM) told our chief reporter Everson Mushava (EM) in an exclusive interview that he believes Mnangagwa did not win the elections as claimed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

He wants Zec disbanded, among other measures, which he believes are paramount for Zimbabwe to return to a democratic path. Below are excerpts from the interview.

EM: What is your assessment of the July 30 harmonised elections?

NM: As detailed in my affidavit, which was filed with the Constitutional Court, there is clear evidence that the presidential elections were not free and fair and that Zec failed in its constitutional and statutory duties.

These are not just our findings, but those of objective observers as well.

Thankfully, Zec itself has also provided more than enough evidence to prove the massive fraud that was perpetrated to manipulate the results.

That evidence includes more than 31 302 votes exceeding the number of registered voters at polling stations and 5 503 votes for Mr Mnangagwa at just two “ghost polling stations”.

The evidence goes beyond that, and we are confident that a Constitutional Court judging this case on the merits will not have a difficult time invalidating the results of this election.

EM: What motivated you to file an affidavit at the Constitutional Court supporting Nelson Chamisa’s petition challenging Mnangagwa’s victory?

NM: The fact that the people that have destroyed this country and whose rule, by the admission of Minister Prisca Mupfumira last year, has resulted in 72,5% of our population (or 10 million out of a population of about 14 million) living under the poverty datum line, should no longer be allowed to continue stealing elections motivated me to file this affidavit.

The problems our country faces are urgent and serious, and no government that does not have a real and clean mandate from the people can deal with them.

Zanu PF has held this country to ransom for the past 38 years, and it’s time to break their hold for our own sake and that of our children.

By the way, this is not just a fight to have the results of this election invalidated.

It is also a fight for a structural interdict to ensure that it’s not the same Zec that got us in this mess that runs any new and future election.

We must get out of this a reformed Zec and reformed electoral processes, and that process should begin with those responsible for this travesty doing the honourable thing and resigning.

Remember also that I was one of the 25 cited respondents in the case filed by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa. My affidavit was, therefore, in response to that citation.
EM: Have your spoken to Chamisa since the elections and if so what was the nature of your discussions?

NM: Yes, we have spoken. We are both committed to continuing the fight to keep all Zimbabweans highly engaged in what is going on in our country until we produce the kind of culture, systems and country that will ensure the full participation of every citizen in determining the direction of our country and building it.

The time to be speaking loudly and pressing for definitive reforms is not a year before the 2023 election, but now, and we are going to press for them now.

EM: Do you believe Chamisa won the elections?

NM: I don’t believe President Mnangagwa polled above 50% of the vote. As I said earlier, we know from the figures supplied by Zec that at over 100 polling stations, the number of people who voted exceeded the number of people who were registered to vote by over 31 204 votes.

There were 40 polling stations with duplicated results that gave Mr Mnangagwa an additional 9 592 votes.

The numbers speak for themselves. If that is the case, then there was fraud, and the election results do not reflect the will of the people.

Nelson Chamisa has presented a very compelling case that he won. I have no reason to doubt that was the case.