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Mkomana's thirst for power exposed

31 Aug 2023 at 06:43hrs | Views
"DEMOCRACY cannot survive when one side believes there are only two outcomes to an election; either they win, or they were cheated. That is not democracy. And that is where the vast majority of Maga Republicans are today. You can't love your country only when you win," said President of the United States of America, Mr Joe Biden in September last year in reference to his rival, Mr Donald Trump's continued refusal to accept the outcome of the Presidential election that ushered him into office.

Mr Biden had no idea that his words would be an apt description of an opposition party in an African country called Zimbabwe after its harmonised polls.

The country held its harmonised elections on August 23-24 whose Presidential outcome saw incumbent and Zanu-PF candidate President Emmerson Mnangagwa winning 52,6 percent of the vote while his closest rival, Mr Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party got 44 percent of the votes.

According to the final election results announced on Saturday night by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), President Mnangagwa got 2 350 711 votes against 1 967 343 secured by his CCC rival, extending his winning margin from 50,8 percent polled in 2018. The total votes cast were 4 561 221, which represents a voter turnout of 68,9 percent.

In Harare, Zanu-PF secured four seats, three more than in 2018. The party had a clean sweep in Mashonaland Central, where it won all 18 seats by overwhelming margins. However, the opposition CCC won all the 12 seats in Bulawayo after Zanu-PF lost Bulawayo South.

In Masvingo, the ruling party bagged 23 of the 25 contested seats while in Mashonaland West, it got 16 compared to the opposition's six. In the Midlands, Zanu-PF won 23 compared to CCC's five.

Matebeleland North saw the CCC winning nine seats while Zanu-PF got four. In Matebeleland South, Zanu-PF won eight seats with four going to CCC and in Mashonaland East, the ruling party got 19 seats to the opposition's four.

In the run-up to the elections, particularly at his  rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Mr Chamisa made it abundantly clear to his supporters that while, according to him, Zanu-PF "stole" the 2018 election, this time such would never happen as his party was fully prepared for any "shenanigans" and would deploy its agents to all the 12 374 polling stations across the country.

Mr Chamisa assured supporters that his party would be the first to have and announce the results to the world a day after the elections and that position had been communicated to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

"I told Sadc that Mr Mnangagwa is not preparing to win, he is plotting to rig. I told Sadc that he stole the election in 2018 but this time I will not allow him to steal the election again. I told Sadc that Zimbabwe is the next chair of Sadc so please get ready to welcome me as the next chair.

"I told Sadc that we are having problems with ghost polling stations, they want to bring ghost polling stations so that they stuff the ballot papers but you know what, out of the 12 374 or so polling stations, we have made sure there is a polling agent per every polling station.

"I have also been informed that they want to make sure they get the Presidential vote first and report back to ZEC so that they can play around with the votes but we have said to ourselves, V11s, once we get our results we are going to tell the world what we would have gotten. We would be the first  ones to know the results, we won't accept that you cheat us again. We will have the results the following day," said Mr Chamisa.

Election day came and after closure of the polling stations as per the Electoral Act, results started trickling in as they were being posted by polling officers.

The first to be declared were those for local government and CCC candidates, especially in towns, were doing well.

At around 10am on Thursday, the CCC leader took to X (Twitter) to express his excitement that his party had taken control of Plumtree Town, previously under Zanu-PF. In Bulawayo, the Mr Chamisa imposed City Mayor, Mr David Coltart also posted a joyous X post celebrating the party's clean sweep of council seats.

Things were seemingly going according to script and CCC was on course to forming the next government.

Even for the National Assembly election results, the mood was the same although it wasn't as smooth for the opposition as Zanu-PF was now showing its muscle with significant victories.

All this while, Mr Chamisa and his ilk did not raise any issues about the election process or results being "doctored" in favour of Zanu-PF, even in constituencies where his party was in control.

Everyone waited with bated breath for Mr Chamisa to announce the Presidential results on Thursday as per his assurances at White City Stadium but that never happened.

This could nevertheless be attributed to advice he may have received as doing so would have been in violation of the Electoral Act, section 66A in particular.

As per the law, ZEC has the onus to announce the outcome of the Presidential results, a process that saw Zanu-PF, through its candidate, President Mnangagwa keeping the keys to State House.

The results announcement, however, came after an unfortunate act by the Sadc election observer mission (SEOM) headed by former Zambian Vice President Pastor Nevers Mumba.

The SEOM released a report which has, rightfully so, drawn the ire of Harare and some Zambian legislators as it was out of diplomatic decorum.

Barely 24 hours after the results were announced, Mr Chamisa held a press conference at which he said his party would not accept the results as they were "fake."

As he had said at the White City rally, as long as he was not announced as the winner ahead of President-elect Mnangagwa, CCC would not accept the outcome. "The election process was flawed," said Mr Chamisa.

It is interesting that Mr Chamisa, a self-proclaimed democrat, would go on a celebratory mood in honour of the Local Government and National Assembly seats win but somehow choose to scream about being "cheated" in the Presidential race.

These elections were held using the same system and under the same conditions, so why would he want to accept the other outcomes where his party did well but choose to reject his loss in the Presidential race?

Surely, it can't be about him alone. Mr Chamisa cannot behave as if he was God-sent to be the next leader of this country. If the elections were flawed, as Mr Chamisa claims they were, then the only logical and sober thing to do would be to reject every outcome of this election and not hold the whole nation at ransom all because of self-aggrandisement.

By law, President Mnangagwa is supposed to take oath of office on the ninth day after being declared the duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

At a press conference on Tuesday, CCC deputy spokesperson Mr Ostallos Gift Siziba said his party was demanding an election rerun and would soon be approaching Sadc, the African Union and other bodies to kickstart the process.

This position is despite calls by leaders that if anyone is aggrieved, they must first exhaust clearly defined internal remedies. Mr Siziba skirted around the question on whether or not they would approach the courts for remedy.

Section 93 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013 states that; "Subject to this section, any aggrieved candidate may challenge the validity of an election of a President or Vice-President by lodging a petition or application with the Constitutional Court within seven days after the date of the declaration of the results of the election.

"(2) The election of a Vice-President may be challenged on the ground that he or she is or was not qualified for election.

"(3) The Constitutional Court must hear and determine a petition or application under subsection (1) within fourteen days after the petition or application was lodged, and the court's decision is final."

CCC has been telling the world that the election was held outside the dictates of the Constitution and the Electoral Act but they are not providing any evidence to prove the same.

Surely, democracy cannot survive when one side believes there is only two outcomes to an election — either they win, or they were cheated. That is not democracy.

Source - The Chroncile
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