Mugabe says ZEC doesn't rig elections

Saul Bowman
July 31, 2018

Chamisa has vowed not to boycott the vote, saying his party would still win despite accusing Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of trying to fix the result. Mugabe ruled the country for almost four decades in a period marred by economic crises and corruption.

Western election observers were in Zimbabwe, reflecting a freer political environment since the November resignation of Mugabe, who had ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980. The election results are due to be announced on Saturday.

In the 2008 election, the result was not announced for more than a month, fueling complaints the result was rigged by the incumbent ZANU-PF.

The election pitted Chamisa, 40, a lawyer and pastor whose only experience of power was a stint as a minister in a coalition government several years ago, against Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, a longtime Mugabe aide and head of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

He said he would rather make a choice among the 22 presidential candidates vying for election‚ but went on to hint that those candidates‚ who had not made an impact in rallies‚ were not worth his vote.

In another first since the turn of the Millennium, the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa invited more than 46 countries and organisations to observe yesterday's elections.

Mnangagwa, a former spy-chief of Mugabe who took the presidency in 2017, is nicknamed "the crocodile" for his perceived ruthlessness. If the MDC loses and contests the result there could be street protests with a potential for violence, and a protracted legal process that could stunt economic reforms.

However, in a televised statement on Sunday, Mugabe said he would not be voting for the ruling ZANU-PF party he founded.

Who is the opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa?

A number of notable people have paid tribute to MDC Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa following a historic election. Tsvangirai pulled out of the second round vote in an effort to end the bloodshed.

Important elections have been taking place in Zimbabwe in southern Africa. That means the opposition vote may be split.

He indicated that Mr Chamisa was the only viable candidate. He holds degrees in political science, global relations and law, and also recently qualified as a pastor.

What he has to offer is a radical change, something most young disenfranchised Zimbabweans are calling for after the Mugabe era left the country in appalling poverty.

Will the election be free and fair?

This the first time in 16 years that European Union and USA observers have been allowed to monitor elections in Zimbabwe. "We are disturbed by false reports alleging that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is going to be used by ZANU-PF to rig the posted vote".

Mr Mnangagwa is favourite although the latest opinion poll said the race was too close to call. We are one people, with one dream and one destiny.

"We will sink or swim together", he added.

"Overall (there was) a huge amount of voting - especially young people, mostly in a very good atmosphere, generally peaceful, which is positive", Brok added.

Chamisa was reported to the police by the electoral commission on Sunday, who said a press conference he had held on that day violated the electoral act which forbids campaigning on the day before the vote.

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