HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has admitted to have participated in a “sham” poll knowing “all is not well” but was shocked with the extent of the electoral fraud, the party’s spokesperson has said.
Douglas Mwonzora told a public debate on Thursday that his party went into the July 31 poll well aware that “Zanu PF was to rig the election but not to the massive extent witnessed”.
“We participated in this election to protect the people of Zimbabwe from Zanu PF’s wishes to change the new Constitution,” Mwonzora said.
“We knew that Zanu PF was going to rig but not to this extent where they even determined who should be in Parliament and who should lose.
Mwonzora, who lost the election in Nyanga North Constituency to Hubert Nyanhongo of Zanu PF, said the fraud was so blatant that Zimbabweans were denied an opportunity to determine their leaders in a transparent manner.
Edwin Mushoriwa, vice president of Welshman Ncube’s MDC, said Zanu PF had access to the voters’ roll while other competitors did not have.
“People voted for Zanu PF out of fear, they were threatened that if MDC wins or any other party outside Zanu PF wins, violence would break out just like what happened in 2008,” Mushoriwa said.
“I was in Muzvezve, Mashonaland West Province; some women told me that they feared for their lives hence they supported Zanu PF.”
The former guerrilla movement won a two-thirds majority in Parliament, giving them leeway to amend the Constitution.
“But Zanu PF has said it will not make any changes without consulting the people who drafted the charter during the life of the inclusive government.
Mwonzora described the poll as a “sham”, raising numerous allegations of fraud, voter intimidation and abuse of the voters’ roll.
“The 2013 elections will be remembered for three things, this is the election that the most unpopular president and party won with a huge margin,” Mwonzora said.
“In this election, Zimbabweans voted for the oldest presidential candidate and a huge margin of voters being turned away.”
Mwonzora claimed president-elect Robert Mugabe’s victory has raised fears that the country will slide back to the 2008-era where basic foodstuffs in shops were scarce and health facilities had collapsed.
“Our hope as MDC is that we are not going to take this country back to 2008, we hope that Zanu PF will respect the wishes of Zimbabweans who want nothing short of an MDC government,” Mwonzora said.
“We are going to challenge this fraudulent victory by Zanu PF in a peaceful manner and wrestle it back to the people of Zimbabwe.”
Zanu PF representative Paul Mangwana said his party won the poll because of its pro-poor policies that “resonated well with the electorate”.
“The MDC knew that they didn’t have a voters’ roll when they participated in this election, they knew that the playing field was not level according to their statements, but were still claiming victory not until counting of results begun,” Mangwana said.
“It is very bad for people to claim victory even minutes before counting starts and cry rigging immediately when counting is over. People should learn to accept defeat and move forward.We must move this country out of this election mood. The MDC has to go back to the people and strategise ideologically,” he said.