Presidential results finally released

By Tichaona Sibanda
2 May 2008

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced on Friday the long-awaited results of the presidential poll, showing that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Robert Mugabe.

But the disputed figures released by ZEC show that Tsvangirai won by 47.9 percent to Mugabe’s 43.2 percent, which forces a second round. Former Finance Minister Simba Makoni came third with 8.3 percent.

Officially it means Tsvangirai fell short of the 50 percent needed for an outright win. The MDC say that their tally gives Tsvangirai 50,3 percent and he is the outright winner. They based their figures on the results posted outside each polling station at the time of the election.

Chief Elections Officer Lovemore Sekeramayi said a date for the second round between Mugabe and Tsvangirai would be announced later.

‘Since no candidate has received the majority of the total votes cast, a second election shall be held on a date to be announced by the commission. By law a second round should be held within 21 days of the result,’ Sekeramayi said.

The MDC said the result was scandalous. Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa described the whole exercise as daylight robbery. He said the party executive would decide the next move.

‘We won this election outright, and yet what we are being given here as the outcome are some fudged figures meant to save Mugabe and Zanu-PF,’ he said.

Secretary General of the MDC, Tendai Biti, told journalists that the process to verify the electoral result was ‘aborted prematurely.’
The reason for this was because Chris Mbanga, Morgan Tsvangirai’s chief election agent and Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s representative, presented the same total number of votes for Mugabe during the verification exercise on Thursday. But ZEC chairman George Chiweshe presented figures which showed that Mugabe’s total had been inflated by 120 000 votes.

George Sibotshiwe, spokesman for Morgan Tsvangirai said they wanted to know were ZEC had got the extra votes from. He said both
Zanu-PF and the MDC obtained their figures from the V-11 forms, the same forms that ZEC used to get their figures from, therefore there should have been no differences.

To add another twist to the verification process, Tsvangirai’s figures were reduced by almost the same amount, and ‘given’ to Simba Makoni.

Sibotshiwe said the discrepancies exposed the fact that ZEC and Zanu-PF wanted to stop Tsvangirai from claiming victory.

The MDC spokesman said a calculation of the total number of the 120,000 votes actually made the difference between the 47,9 percent allocated to Tsvangirai and their real figure of 50,3 percent.

He said the party would go to court to try to declare Tsvangirai the next President of Zimbabwe, on the basis that he won more votes than Robert Mugabe.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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