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ZEC rubbishes Jonathan Moyo's voter fraud book claims

by Staff reporter
05 Jun 2021 at 08:15hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was on Friday forced to address the damaging allegations raised by Professor Jonathan Moyo, who in his newly-published book, offers a gripping account of the elaborate electoral fraud that he claims stripped opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of clear victory in the 2018 presidential election after winning by a staggering 66 percent.

In 'Excelgate: How Zimbabwe's 2018 Presidential Election Was Stolen', Moyo charges that President Emmerson Mnangagwa lost resoundingly to Chamisa after polling just 33 percent, adding the Zanu-PF leader was saved by the Joint Operations Command (JOC) – a shadowy assemblage of all state security apparatus – which frantically stepped in and tampered with ballot figures in a "brazen" and "audacious" con.

Moyo alleges that while the rigging machinery was intricate with many players involved, "the key operative who was the centre and mainstay of the rigging system and around whom the rest of the hands-on operatives coalesced, was Mavis Matsanga, an active CIO Divisional Intelligence Officer (DIO), first seconded to ZEC in 2008. Fully embedded in ZEC, Matsanga is the chief information security officer at ZEC in the all-important operations division."

ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba knew exactly what was going on and was the contact for Defense House and had "unrestrained access" to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga while Utloile Silaigwana, the commission's acting chief elections officer, and a retired army personnel, was "in the general but not specific loop", Moyo says.

The exiled former cabinet minister writes that the unadulterated results in the controversial ZEC server had "Chamisa with 66 percent of the vote and Mnangagwa with 33 percent," which Moyo says "triggered the constructive rigging of the election by ZEC at the instigation of Defense House."

ZEC went on to declare Mnangagwa duly elected with 50.7 percent of the vote, barely avoiding a run-off while Chamisa trailed with 44.3 percent.

Chamisa contested the results but lost after a panel of nine Constitutional Court judges led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba said his claims of voter fraud were "bold and unsubstantiated."

Noting the "damaging allegations" on Friday, ZEC said it would not be "drawn into any brawls" over a matter already settled by the courts.

"We have seen some damaging allegations against the Commission in a book called Excelgate by Prof. J Moyo," the electoral body tweeted. "Take note that the election was conducted in 2018 and aggrieved parties followed the constitutionally laid down procedures to challenge the election."

ZEC added: "The Constitutional Court made a definitive ruling which concluded the matter. The commission will not be drawn into any brawls on issues that have been concluded by the country's highest court.

"The commission is busy with important work of stakeholder consultations on how to map 2023 election delimitation and will not be distracted from its constitutional mandate by unfounded allegations."

Moyo, however, clapped back: "You pretend that you have just seen Excelgate's contents yet your chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, was given a copy in December 2019.

"The ConCourt case was one process; Excelgate is based on researched and verifiable facts. Your Mavis Matsanga is CIO and your Major Chivasa is ZDF."

Dropping names in his book and going into fairly compelling detail about how ZEC allegedly connived with the state security machinery to pull out the ballot swindle, the political scientist says Mnangagwa stole the elections to consolidate the gains of his November 2017 military coup, which ousted the long-ruling former president Robert Mugabe, now late.

He says the "brazen operation to audaciously rig the result" was carried out by raiding the ZEC election server and "inventing an unlawful route and destination for the collation, compilation, and transmission of the [presidential] result, through operational liaison with Africom for server networking and servicing."

"With Chiitern Trust for the accreditation function and the CIO's Data Recovery Center for the result monitoring and manipulation, was logistically organized, coordinated and led by Mavis Matsanga as ZEC's chief information security officer in the operations division and as an active CIO embed controlled by Defence House on behalf of, or in the name of JOC," Moyo writes.

Matsanga's division "is in charge of ZEC's main function as an electoral body in that it deals with ‘the actual conduct and management of elections and referendums, election logistics, voter education, and publicity campaigns and image promotion'", adding that "the division is headed by a deputy chief elections officer and has four departments: polling and training, public relations, voter education, and election logistics."

Moyo adds: "As an embedded active CIO operative under the guise of a seconded official, Matsanga's CIO credentials and real work at ZEC is known only to Chigumba, the ZEC chairperson, as it was known to her predecessor, Justice Rita Makarau.

"To put Matsanga's job at ZEC bluntly, it is to manage and rig elections for Zanu-PF under the command of the CIO. In the 2018 harmonised elections, Matsanga was deputized by one Chivasa, a retired military operative, seconded to ZEC by the ZDF specifically to rig elections. As if to underscore his pivotal role in the manipulation of the result of the 2018 presidential election, Chivasa's full names and identity are a closely guarded secret at ZEC and within the rigging system."

Moyo, who skipped the country into exile as the coup unfolded, alleges that "from the ward collation center, ZEC transmitted results of the presidential and national assembly elections using different routes with different destinations."

The destination for the national assembly results, he says, was the constituency center, whereas the presidential results were forwarded to the district centre for onward transmission to the national command center in Harare.

This "violated the peremptory provisions of S37C(4) of the Electoral Act in a major way and, ipsco facto, voided whatever result of the presidential election it declared and announced thereafter," the professor contends.

Thanks to their well-positioned assets in ZEC and elsewhere in the entire electoral framework, the security chiefs knew ahead of time that the jig was up for Mnangagwa and that Chamisa was their new boss, and they just wouldn't let that happen.

"Through Mavis Matsanga, the CIO's data recovery center and Africoms management of the server at ZEC's national command center, Defense House got to know early before civilians, including ZEC civilians, that Chamisa had garnered 66 percent of the presidential election vote while Mnangagwa had managed only 33 percent," Moyo alleges.

"A radical, brazen and audacious decision was made to intercept at 1,958 ward centers the result of the presidential election recorded in 1,958 V28As reflecting 10,985 V11s from polling stations and to reroute it away from constituency centers and transmit it to district election officers for onward transmission direct to the national command center in Harare. The rerouting was a military operation and not done transparently."

He adds: The server was crucial in making this happen. It would not have been possible for ‘the system' to know that Mnangagwa had dismally lost to Chamisa without the server.

"It is precisely for this reason that the server is the most important ad the best evidence to show that there was shockingly bold and massive rigging of the result of the presidential election by the rigging system, the blocking, and denial of access to the server by Malaba was a gross injustice bordering on premeditated criminal conduct."

Source - zimlive