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Watchers wait on Chamisa's next move

by Staff reporter
03 Sep 2023 at 22:25hrs | Views
Zimbabweans and those around the world who have been watching the recently ended elections are wondering what Citizens Coalition for Change leader, Nelson Chamisa will do next after he rejected Emmerson Mnangagwa's win in an election that a number of observer mission have cited a number of irregularities compromising the freeness and credibility of the election.

"What next? Let's see how CCC and others push back against the  @zeczim presidential slamdunk. What evidence us put on the table Again we see the issue of V11s being put on the table.... If this is the case, where in CCC's stated rig-proof plan did it go wrong?" queried political analyst Piers Pigou.

Pigou is Southern Africa Programme Head at the Institute for Security Studies, South Africa and commands respectable following as a commentator on Zimbabwe.

His rig-proof reference is to pre-election utterances by Nelson Chamisa in which he said that CCC had devised a strategy of ambiguity which involved anti-rigging mechanisms.

The front page of a local paper that cited Chamisa in his declaration has gone viral with Zanu-PF national spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa using a physical copy of the paper during a press conference this Sunday to dismiss Chamisa's rigging allegations.

In 2018, Chamisa mounted a legal challenge in which his team failed to produce the crucial V11s forms that he had consistently claimed to have during media briefings.

When Chief Justice Luke Malaba questioned Chamisa's lawyer as to why he had not sued for opening of ballot boxes which contained the crucial evidence, the lawyer said that was not the crux of his argument.

In a statement through its spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi. CCC has said that it is has evidence that shows that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission figures are incorrect and are undertaking a review to tabulate the errors.

"The CCC has initiated a comprehensive citizen's review of the vote count. This endeavor is firmly rooted in hard evidence collected from all regions of Zimbabwe," said Mkwananzi.

But that does not seem to inspire confidence in analysts that there will be any material effect on the outcome which put Mnangagwa ahead of Chamisa.

"What will happen now? The opposition has yet to announce its next course of action.

"….it is unclear what it will do with its Citizens Review," tweeted British academic Professor Stephen Chan.

Chan was arrested and deported back to Zambia after the government of Zimbabwe decided that his claims to be travelling to teach karate in the country were not credible. Chan went on to confirm on his X wall that he was indeed intending to play an observer role in the elections.

A local pro-opposition political analyst, who declined to be named, said that Chamisa does not appear to have any strategy beyond the legal route.

"A lot of Chamisa's supporters still have hope that something can be done, that by some miracle, Chamisa will be declared president. But emotion aside, it is clear that the statistics are against him. After claiming to have won on social media, his subsequent silence showed that he based his assumption on partial or erroneous figures.

"Of course the election was not free and fair at all, but at the end of the day, it is clear that even if Chamisa's team manages to pick out a few errors, they have no hope of taking away the 50% plus 1, which is all ED needs," the analyst told Zim Now.

Professor Jonathan Moyo was even more elaborate, arguing that Chamisa's claim that he had agents in all polling stations in the country was not true and cites Chirumanzu-Zibagwe.


"Factually it is not true that, unlike in 2018, Chamisa this time round has all the V11s from the 12 374 polling stations that were created for the 2023 harmonised general election, because he and his CCC political party did not deploy polling agents at all the 12 374 polling stations in the country's 210 constituencies to secured the necessary V11s, which are the primary election returns required to prove any rigging claim.

"For example in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, a key constituency in the Midlands Province, Chamisa's CCC did not have any polling agents at all at many polling stations such as Musena Clinic, Simon Muzenda Primary School, Huchu Primary School, Sebakwe Game Park Tent and Moffat Primary School."

Prof Moyo says some polling agents withheld V11s  from CCC.

"To make this bad situation worse, at some of the polling stations where polling agents were deployed, a number of the agents withheld V11s from the polling stations they had been deployed because they had not been paid their allowances. Examples of polling stations where CCC polling agents went rogue and refused to give the party copies of V11s include Piki and Mosmy in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency," writes Prof Moyo on his X wall.

Jealousy Mawarire weighed in, questioning Chamisa's strategy in the election.

"As long as someone runs ‘a presidential election campaign' not worrying about funding MPs, the outcome will always be the same. Chinonzi kupenga (Madness) is expecting to win a presidential election iwe une (while you have) 70 MPs, unoitonga sei nyika yacho (How do you govern the country)? What will you do if the 136 don't pass budget?" queried Mawarire in a post on his X wall.

Interestingly, other candidates in the election have accepted the results and pledged to help push the country's developmental agenda with the elected President.

UANC secretary-general, Michael Muzorewa said his party had done its best in the 2023 Harmonised Elections, adding that his party campaigned freely in all provinces of the country.

"As UANC, I can't speak on behalf of other parties. We did very well with the percentage of the national vote that we got. At 0.2 percent, as a party, we have done our best.

"This election is gone and this is like going back to the drawing board and map the way forward.

"However, I would like to thank Zimbabweans for the peaceful environment that existed in the run-up to and during that elections," Muzorewa told Zim Now after the announcement of the presidential results by ZEC on Saturday.

Chamisa appears to be still cogitating and strategising after he told his supporters to sit tight:

"Fellow Citizens; I know you are anxious. I will give an address soon. Never lose hope. Don't give up. You did your very best. You sacrificed all. It's not in vain. They stole your voice and vote but never your hope. It's a blatant and gigantic fraud. Our God is faithful. There shall be freedom and justice in Zimbabwe! Remember, #Godisinit"

Meanwhile, most media, including international outlets such as CNN are reporting Mnangagwa's re-election as a fait accompli, albeit with commentary highlighting the observer reports, raising question on the credibility and fairness of the election.

Source - Zim Now