Politics

ZEC dismisses Chamisa’s vote rigging claims

“There are certain polling stations, which had no polling agents from major opposition parties, but they were raising allegations of rigging. We really do not know the basis of these allegations..." - ZEC

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says allegations of vote rigging in the 2018 elections are baseless because the main MDC Alliance which makes those allegations failed to field polling agents at numerous polling stations.

In 2018, the MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa raised allegations of rigging when he lost to Zanu PF leader, President Mnangagwa.

Chamisa launched a constitutional legal challenge but the Constitutional Court led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba found the challenge not having any merit before dismissing it.

Malaba ruled that Chamisa failed to prove the allegations as it emerged that he had not fielded polling agents at most voting centres and so did not have the primary evidence to buttress his petition. Chamisa has since continued to insist he was rigged, and his supporters and sympathisers believe that as fact.

But ZEC Commissioner Joyce Kazembe has said as the electoral management body, they have always wondered the legal basis upon which such political parties make the allegations when they would have abdicated the legal expectation for them to appoint agents at all voting centres.

“There are certain polling stations, which had no polling agents from major opposition parties, but they were raising allegations of rigging. We really do not know the basis of these allegations.

“These polling agents must be present 24 hours including during counting of votes so that they append their signatures on the results that would be send to the national command centre here in Harare. So these are allegations, we really do not know where they come from,” said Kazembe.

She was speaking while making a contribution during a virtual interface with Parliament’s portfolio committee on Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

The interface, which was supported by the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust was meant to appraise legislators on media regulations.

Meanwhile, Kazembe has highlighted that ZEC wants amendments of some election by-laws and it had proposed that laws be made to deal with social media which disseminated hate speech during election period.

The hate speech was mainly affecting women contestants, she said.

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