HARARE – MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has put together a team of experts in an attempt to forestall any form of rigging that may arise before, during and after the Monday poll.
Harare lawyer Thabani Mpofu is leading the team whose identities could not be disclosed to the media for fear of reprisals.
Mpofu could only say he will be working with “some of the best minds in Zimbabwe” to ensure that the July 30 vote is not “stolen”.
“We have put together all necessary legal strategies and instruments to ensure that your vote counts and is secured,” said Mpofu yesterday.
“I would have you know, fellow Zimbabweans that your votes, as sharp instruments, will reduce the swindling power of evil chaff and with your assistance they cannot be negated by any rigging mechanism, however, pernicious. Go vote, your vote shall count,” he said.
Mpofu, who also heads Chamisa’s legal team, said he was confident that the MDC Alliance leader would triumph even amid protests that the electoral playing field remains tilted in favour of Zanu PF.
He said they have come up with an elaborate matrix to ensure that the “many millions of votes” that will be cast in favour of Chamisa will not only count but will be secured.
Mpofu said the only question that now remains was protecting the vote and ensuring a smooth transfer of power.
He was quick to say the contents of the matrix of how this would be done remained a closely-guarded secret, adding that they have also put in place a transitional framework, which will be backed by the security apparatus.
“To that end, I wish to assure you, on my name and honour that I and our legal team are going to superintend over the imminent smooth transfer of power to the incoming president.
“The necessary assurances from the security apparatus are at hand as they exist as a matter of law. Power will be relinquished. Power will be taken, even though mountains be moved, albeit, this shall be a peaceful and tranquil process,” Mpofu said.
“We have fully committed all our plans and strategies into the hands of the Lord because God is in it,” Mpofu said.
Zimbabwe has endured a long history of contested poll outcomes, spanning over two decades.
The last two elections, in 2008 and 2013, were marred by well-documented irregularities, widespread acts of intimidation and violence against the opposition.
This has seen the country’s economy shrinking at a frightening pace after the disputed polls drew the ire of sanctions and other trade restrictions from western countries.
As much as the voting environment ahead of the July 30 poll is relatively peaceful, concerns over the credibility of the ballot remain.
While the new biometric voters’ roll was supposed to solve many of the challenges raised by opposition political parties, a comprehensive analysis of the new roll by a civil society group called Team Pachedu claims there are still more than 250 000 ghost voters on the roll.
Opposition parties are also querying the credibility of the voters’ roll, the secrecy around the printing, storage and distribution of the ballot papers and the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which they said has refused to avail the final voters’ roll as required by law.
Zec denies the claims.
Until Wednesday, the main opposition led by Chamisa had not ruled out boycotting the Monday polls among the options they were mulling over.
At a media briefing held on Wednesday, Chamisa ruled out boycotting the synchronised elections even as he insisted that the electoral playing field remained uneven.
The youthful presidential hopeful has been emphatic that he would not accept a “fake result” and was certain that a large voter turnout would overturn the electoral fraud that has resulted in him going to elections with a disputed voters’ roll and also in the dark over the number of ballot papers that have been printed.
Among the concerns that Chamisa has raised, is the apparent vote-buying spree by Zanu PF which has seen President Emmerson Mnangagwa handing out farming inputs like maize seed in winter and also promising free education to college students.