Zec gaffe draws brickbats

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) came under heavy fire yesterday after it admitted to errors in its calculation of the presidential poll result, won by President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa.

While Zec had declared the Zanu PF leader as the winner with 50,8 percent of the presidential vote, the electoral management body has marginally revised downwards his win to 50,6 percent.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who had earlier polled 44,3 percent of the vote, is now sitting at 44,39 percent.

Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba revealed this in her court papers filed at the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) last week.

She said even if the corrections were made, Chamisa cannot overtake Mnangagwa, meaning to say her declaration still stands.

It is now up to the Con-Court to decide following a petition filed by Chamisa on August 10, challenging Mnangagwa’s razor-thin poll victory.

Zec’s faux pass is now forming part of the evidence for those who have previously argued that its results were not reliable and verifiable.

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said it was strange that Zec had to wait for the MDC Alliance to approach the Con-Court to correct the presidential results in its responses to the court challenge.

“This could be an indication of deeper things that the court case might unearth,” said Gwede.

“The correction is therefore not a small matter as they might want to make it. It goes to the bottom of the credibility and integrity of the election itself.”

Gwede added that the court was therefore central to the legitimacy of the election.

“The court case is therefore central to the credibility of the 2018 harmonised elections,” he said, while wondering whether Chigumba would have announced the discrepancies if she had not been pressurised by the MDC Alliance through its Con-Court application.

Officials sympathetic to Zec said the margin of error was not statistically fatal at all. But Crisis Coalition spokesperson Tabani Moyo said the boo-boo speaks of serious transparency and accountability deficits and high possibilities of electoral fraud.

“It’s the same case of Chegutu constituency where Zec misleadingly announces Dexter Nduna as the winner only to make a U-turn,” opined Moyo.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said the gaffe confirms the fact they noted even before the election day that the poll would be rigged.

“They are defiantly cooking figures and making political simulations. It means they lied, though their narrative is that it’s arithmetic oversights and errors. This whole thing is a sham,” said Saungweme.

Election Resource Centre director Tawanda Chimhini said just as what happened with the “final” voters’ roll, which turned out not to be final, Chigumba might have
released a presidential election result which was not final.

“What else happened around the election needs to be reviewed to see what else may change if thoroughly reviewed. Was Zec ready to run elections? Zec as a public body conducting a public process — the elections — has to act responsibly and accountably. The mistakes that have been conceded provide a basis for heads to roll at Zec,” said Chimhini.

He said it was unheard of that a high-ranking Zec official would announce and declare wrong results especially presidential results given the high stakes that were involved.

Media and political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said the development was a mockery of the people of Zimbabwe.

Social analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the blunder has the effect of arming those who had always doubted Zec’s partiality in running the elections.

Comments (9)

I wonder if the sex with the Minister is still hot?

Lloyd - 19 August 2018


papa vuka - 20 August 2018

Run Zec, run..before the ghouls get you! By admitting that mistakes were made, the whole process of credible elections is compromised... Heads will surely roll, even if its only to quell public anger and mistrust.. Ed is tainted even if he is declared winner... Maiweee zvangu!!

C. Kandez - 20 August 2018

The reason why there are provisions for recounts and appeals is principally because even the laws recognises that errors can be made. The real issue is whether they are so material they affect the result and wherther they were malicious and that requires proof. Even in the USA similar mistakes have been made....

The Beautiful ones are not yet born - 20 August 2018

You may/can bark all you want, ONLY Liberation movement Parties will rule this side of the Equator, confirmation the appointment of ED SADC position

Eddie - 20 August 2018

Not sure what appointment was bestowed to Zimbabwe by SADC which ED as head of state accepted on behalf of Zimbabwe. Most of those positions by SADC or AU are for Zimbabwe as a country not personally for the head of state, Eddie do not misconstrue facts.

Sinyo - 20 August 2018

Errors can be made and no one has denied that,but if the same type of errors are repeated systematicaly then they cease to errors,it becomes fraud.Why is that all these errors by ZEC were made is such a way that Chamisa was given less votes than he got and Mnangagwa was given more votes than he got?If the so called errors were genuine then we should have seen Chamisa also getting more votes than he deserved and Mnangagwa getting less votes than he deserved or even Farai Pio Macheka getting 5000 votes instead of 5.Maybe we need to re define the meaning of error.Please Chigumba and your crooks,stop abusing the word error and own up to your deliberate errors.This was just daylight robbery of the people's vote as we had said even before the elections.

Janana bikaz power - 20 August 2018

This issue has now reached a point where those not gifted with knowledge of arithmetic or statistics and logic would best keep their thoughts to themselves. Already ZEC's revision of figures can be questioned through further scrutiny/analysis of the type of error it was and how frequently this type of error occurred etc.....exciting time expected on Wednesday in the ConCourt

Sagitarr - 20 August 2018

I think the ZEC chair now should be arrested for rigging an election. The person that she rigged for to be barred from participating in the country's future election.

mike - 20 August 2018

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