Elections null, void: Tsvangirai

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called Wednesday’s vote a “huge farce,” a day after his latest attempt to end President Robert Mugabe’s 33-year rule.

Tsvangirai’s views were also shared by David Coltart of the smaller MDC faction who described the election as a farce adding the entire election was fraught with irregularities.

The visibly dejected Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) presidential candidate told a press conference yesterday the election was heavily manipulated and did not meet minimum election standards for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the African Union (AU).

“The shoddy manner in which it has been conducted and the consequent illegitimacy of the result will plunge this country into a serious crisis,” Tsvangirai said.

“Its credibility has been marred by administrative and legal violations which affect the legitimacy of its outcome,” he added.

“It is a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people.”

The MDC leader called the election a huge “farce.”

“I am sure you know the developments around the election and what is emerging throughout the country but the conclusion has been that this has been a huge farce. It is a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people,” he said.

“It is our view that this election is null and void, it does not meet Sadc, AU or international standards for a credible legitimate free and fair election.”

Administrative and legal violations, challenges related to the voters’ roll, manipulation of the voter’s choice through voter assistance, intimidation, abuse of voter’s slips as proof of voter registration, militarisation of the electoral process, lack of transparency in ballot paper printing and double voting are some of reasons constituting Tsvangirai’s basis for disputing the legitimacy of the outcome.

The Daily News investigations team on Wednesday lifted the lid on electoral fraud that ended with a team of 20 Zanu PF youths being detained at Hatfield Police Station for distributing fake voter registration slips.

Some used the slips to vote in Hatfield.

A sombre atmosphere engulfed Harvest House, the MDC headquarters, as depressed MDC polling officers trooped into the offices.

Riot police were deployed outside the party headquarters. 

The MDC leader, who had hoped for a landslide victory supported by several surveys, decried the implications of the outcome on the generality of Zimbabweans.

“Zanu PF may have this clarion victory as they would want to claim but I want to assure you that the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis has never been so near because we know at the end of the day Mugabe and Zanu PF are not going to put food on the on the table,” Tsvangirai said.

“We also know that the country, facing this myriad of problems cannot be resolved by these shenanigans,” he said.

Tsvangirai accused Zanu PF of subverting the people’s vote.

“Let me also say some of us believed that in spite of some of the hurdles that had to be overcome, that this election will resolve the political and economic crisis the country is facing,” he said.

“Once again Zimbabweans have been short-changed and they will have to bear the economic, socio and political consequences undertaken by Mugabe and Zanu PF,” he said adding: “MDC MPs who are celebrating that they won, this is not the moment to celebrate. It is a moment to be sad.”

The outspoken PM — though disturbed by the poll — still expressed hope for the future.

“For us we want to assure every Zimbabwean, that this is the beginning of the end,” he said.

Coltart said: “Even prior to the election on Tuesday, I handed a letter to the Head of the Sadc team in Bulawayo detailing 6 serious breaches of our Electoral law and Constitution which stands as record.

“In my view the entire election is illegal — for example I have still not received a copy of the electronic voters’ roll which I was entitled to and which was a key mechanism to counter rigging.

“That news along with news of the loss of Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South to Zanu PF makes it clear in my mind that the entire election is fraudulent. It also puts my loss in context.”

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), a coalition of local non-government organisations monitoring elections in the country, described the poll as “seriously compromised.”

“Up to a million voters were disenfranchised,” Solomon Zwana, the chairman of Zesn, told a press conference yesterday.

Zanu PF’s spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, rejected allegations that the poll was rigged, saying it was part of a plot by Americans and Europeans to discredit the vote.

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, head of the African Union observer mission, told reporters on Wednesday night that he felt the vote was provisionally “free and fair”.

“From what I saw, and the reports that I’ve received so far from our observers who went out in the field, the conduct of the elections everywhere they went to was peaceful, orderly and free and fair,” Obasanjo said.

Rita Makarau, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), conceded “a few minor logistical problems” where voting started slowly, and appealed to people to put forward any evidence of irregularities.

Comments (7)

How does all these unusual things only happen in Zim elections and no where else in the world? I am also shocked by the results from the constituencies announced. If the voter's roll was manipulated how could this manipulation translate into real votes on the ground for ZANU (PF)? The bussing of people from rural areas to towns cannot be a valid point considering the logistical issues to be considered.

Maricho - 2 August 2013

My dear, bussed thugs were just a little fraction in the big scheme of rigging; it is information age- most of this rigging happened at a much higher level- the actual numbers on the roll (included were those dead, overseas and ensuring that those who did vote in 70% of the constituencies were bob would have lost, have inks that evaporate after a few minutes) to name a few methods of rigging. Remember Israelies whose company supplied pens used have the technology to do anything!!!

Easie - 2 August 2013

need to tell all the people in the MDC T to do the following 1-Never ever go to the courts 2-All those MDC T candidates who win and those who whose results were stolen never join Mugabes gvt let him take from his zanu pf part to fill all the positions for both houses of assembly and the councils no one from MDC T Should join these thugs let them form 100% zanu pf gvt. 3 To my fellow MDC T member lets go and do our normal ways of survival either in poverty or what it does not matter but never ever to any political office of mugabe. 4- I need mugabe to make all the people of zimbabwe happy as he was promising. 5-Again to my fellow MDC members who worked hard during the inclusive gvt so that things were seem to be better for all people of zimbabwe but making it as if mugabe was doing it eg you bring USA Dollar.Please withdraw all your services and what so ever give mugabe everything and also take everything that belongs to you if people are to die of hunger let then die if they are to die of corera let them die Mugabe has all the solutions even next week he must introduce chinese money Yen he must stop using everything for the inclusive gvt more over he must bring back his zim dollars. 6-.When MDC request extention of voters reg mugabe refused 7- when mdc requested voters roll mugabe refused 9 when mdc requested reforming ZEC he refused all the commissoners of zec are CIO and military personell everyone knows this 10- The above are just a few important things so it means mdc must stop working with zanu pf they will use you to the expense of total indep 11.CHINAMHATA DONT give us advice rule alone we will watch you rulling you can feed everyone do all your promises alone when you fail you want to blem mdc do it alone

dofo - 2 August 2013

When did he discover that the election was a huge “farce.” Coz when he casted his vote the previous day he said he was happy with the way things were going. Tsvangirai should no that he does not own every Zimbabwean the sooner he acknowledges that the better for him. Is he saying coz he is loosing so elections were rigged?? All these people who bused, were did they come from?? from heaven?? By the way its not the MDC that introduced the multi -currency in Zim it was Gono via Foliwers and the Chinamasa when he presented his budget before the inclusive gvmnt.

nigel Munach - 2 August 2013

Change is very expensive .do not expect tsvangirai to bring change.people will have to die for change even when MUgabe took office a lot of people died .so change can be brought by you ,me and who ever is sleeping with no electricity ,no medicine at the clinics and all those walking miles to get to school.tsvangirai na Mugabe they speak to each other and they don't care about anything because they can have five course meals on a daily bases ,continental breakfast sorry you .

Attendant bata - 3 August 2013

@Maricho. Its either you are too dump or too diaspora to know what happened in this election. Zpf with the aid of the RG managed to restrict millions of potential voters from registering in all areas perceived to be mdc-remember the voter reg saga. After that they went into their few remaining strongholds and issued thousands of voting slips to their masses in an environment that was very very difficult to register to vote thereby making it free for all to anyone believed to be Zpf. The end result was a very restricted and excluded voting populous against a massively registered Zpf voters. The remainder you can now guess it otherwise Mugabe was poised for a monumental defeat.

Mafios - 3 August 2013

Mafios, I am actually an MDC - T supporter but I think as a party we need an introspection. MDC - T has been fooled too many times by Mugabe and ZANU (PF) to be considered to be a party with reasonable and visionary leaders. Our leaders starting with Mr Tsvangirai himself must have thought well in advance (before the election) about the chances of ZANU (PF) rigging and put in place mechanisms to protect people's votes. The MDC - T was in government and our leaders had a wonderful opportunity to prevent election anomalies from within the government. Instead, our leaders, especially Mr Tsvangirai himself concentrated on trivial issues. Mr Tsvangirai was obsessed with getting a beautiful woman to remarry and he finally found love in the daughter of a senior ZANU (PF) official of all places! I say Mr Tsvangirai got too contented with being interim PM. Other MDC - T officials were too busy in their own 'get rich fast schemes' to care about the prospect of a new a election despite the fact that Mugabe had been threatening it since 2011. The only MDC - T official who worked very hard and made Mugabe have sleepless nights was Mr Biti. I think Mr Tsvangirai must now step down to allow Mr Biti to takeover leadership of the party if we are serious about rejuvenating the party.

Maricho - 4 August 2013

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