MDC-T Threatens To Announce 2018 Election Results
The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai has threatened to announce the 2018 election results if the election management body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) takes longer to declare a winner.
Speaking at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition public meeting last week, Member of Parliament for Harare Central, Murisi Zwizwai who is the MDC-T Secretary for elections said his party was ready to defend their vote from potential rigging.
“We are going to establish peace ambassadors who are going to defend the vote, once the voting has been done and we are going to announce the results ourselves this time around, from wherever we are going to do that,” said Zwizwai.
Zanu PF Secretary for legal affairs, Patrick Chinamasa was not available to comment.
Executive Director of the Election Resource Centre, Tawanda Chimhini said the mere fact that the Electoral Act stipulates that results should be posted outside the polling station means any interested party could tabulate and come up with figures though they wont be official.
“The official announcement is done by ZEC and if anyone announces results they won’t be official,” said Chimhini adding that parallel tabulation of results is important to hold ZEC accountable.
Political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme believes announcing election results would be a good political move for MDC-T though he is of the view that it must be accompanied by astute and sophisticated planning and organizing.
“They can do that as a political move not necessarily legal. But it must not end with just announcing results. They need to work hard to ensure that once they do announce results and they are winning they they occupy government buildings and quickly form new government.
“For this to work they need intelligence and working with security including military to ensure this works or mobilise masses in huge numbers to ensure that even if military would want to push them out they won’t do that,” said Saungweme.
In 2008, it took more three months for the electoral commission to announce Presidential elections results, eventually won by Morgan Tsvangirai with 47.87 percent to Mugabe’s 43.24.
The delays in announcing election results led to the arrest of Tendai Biti, the then MDC-T Secretary General after he publicly announced the Presidential election results before an official announcement by the electoral management body.