MDC Alliance’s presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has rejected election results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) last night with his party chair Morgen Komichi claiming they were “unverified” by the opposition party’s chief election agent and therefore “fake”.
Komichi took the Zec commissioners by surprise when he jumped to the top table shortly before announcement of the last batch of the returns, and told journalists that his party would not challenge the results.
“The results that have been announced so far, we reject them because they have not been verified by our chief election agent (Jameson Timba). I represent my candidate Nelson Chamisa. The results are fake, they have just been printed and not verified,” said Komichi adding that a meeting with Zec had been inconclusive.
Before Komichi could finish he and Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda were ushered out by State security agents.
Despite the drama, Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba went ahead and declared Zanu PF presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa as winner with 50.8% of the votes, just enough to scrap through the constitutional threshold of 50% plus one vote required to avoid a run off.
Chamisa, according to Zec got 2147 436 votes representing 44,3% of the votes cast.
Mnangagwa’s disputed victory gave the ruling party firm control of government business after securing a two-thirds majority in Parliament with 163 seats against MDC Alliance’s 64 seats.
The election was the first to be held in the former British colony since Robert Mugabe, the 94-year-old autocrat who ruled for 37 years, was ousted by the army nine months ago.
Thursday’s results and management of the whole electoral process would be used to determine Mnangagwa government’s legitimacy and whether the country qualifies for reengagement with the international community.
Zimbabwe hopes to reintegrate into the international community after years of isolation during former leader Robert Mugabe’s reign. Foreign powers will now have to decide whether the poll outcome gives Mnangagwa and Zanu PF the legitimacy needed to rejoin institutions such as the Commonwealth.