THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) reported MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa to the police Sunday in a development pooh-poohed by the opposition leader’s legal team.
Chamisa and his legal advisor Thabani Mpofu addressed a media briefing in Harare ahead of Monday’s general elections.
ZEC claimed this was in breach of the Electoral Act and reported the matter to the police.
Responding, Mpofu said; “The fact that ZEC has reported a non-offence at this crucial time is meant to intimidate the President and his team, is an unacceptable demonstration of partiality and will not be lightly viewed.”
Chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana explained the possible legal infraction.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has noted with concern the violation of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] by one of the candidates contesting in the 2018 Harmonised Elections,” he said.
“Clause 7 (1)(b) of the Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates and other stakeholders provides as follows: (1) No political party or candidate may, from midnight 24 hours before polling day in any election or referendum until polling stations are closed on that day publish, or cause or permit the publication, of any advertisement or statement promoting or opposing a particular party or candidate.
“It has come to the knowledge of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that one of the Presidential candidates today, the 29th of July 2018 held a press conference at Meikles Hotel, in direct contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act Fourth Schedule (Section 160A, Clause 7(1)(B).
“This matter has been reported to the police for investigation on possible infraction of the electoral law.”
However, Chamisa’s legal team said President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ruling Zanu PF party were now in panic mode.
“You would be now aware that the outgoing President Mnangagwa has this afternoon circulated a video in a panicky response to former President Mugabe’s press conference,” said Mpofu.
“We wait to see when a police report is going to be made by ZEC.
“(Chamisa) remains unfazed and urges Zimbabweans from all walks of life to remain vigilant and go on with the task of voting.”