Tsvangirai fights over 100 poll results
THE MDC-T yesterday said it would challenge election results in at least 100 constituencies and the presidential poll by Friday.
In an interview yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the party would mount a three-pronged strategy in its electoral challenge.
“We are pursuing the legal, diplomatic and political routes,” Mwonzora said.
“As we speak, we are compiling the dossier on the irregularities of the polls before, during and after the elections. On the legal route, by Friday we should have filed the main court application challenging the results of the presidential election and over 100 other applications challenging the outcome of the polls in House of Assembly constituencies.”
President Robert Mugabe won the presidential contest after garnering 61% of the vote, while his Zanu PF party won 160 out of 210 seats in the House of Assembly.
Since Sunday, the party has been compiling reports from its
losing candidates across the country on alleged poll irregularities, including voter intimidation, manipulation of voters’ roll, use of fake voter registration slips and double voting, among a litany of electoral fraud allegations.
Other allegations include non-transparency in the printing of ballot papers where an extra two million (35% of the total ballot papers) were printed, in violation of Sadc guidelines which recommend not more than 5% extra ballots.
Mwonzora said in terms of the new Constitution, the President could only be sworn in after the electoral challenges had been cleared and this had to be completed within 14 days.
He said the MDC-T believed more than 500 000 voters were disenfranchised, an observation supported by the largest local observer mission, the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network, which said a huge number of people in urban areas — believed to be MDC-T strongholds — were turned away from polling stations without voting.
On the diplomatic front, Mwonzora said the party would appeal to Sadc over the alleged poll fraud although the Southern African bloc’s facilitator on Zimbabwe, South African President Jacob Zuma, has already endorsed Mugabe’s victory.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti told NewsDay yesterday that his party had been aware Zanu PF would attempt to rig the election, but had never imagined the vote theft would be of such magnitude.
“We actually never thought Zanu PF would rig to the extent that they did. The extent of rigging was shocking, to say the least,” he said.
Biti also said the MDC-T participated in the poll under pressure from their supporters who were itching for elections, confident of victory in spite of Zanu PF’s rigging.
“If MDC (T) had not participated in this election, the people would have been extremely bitter. The people actually said if we opt to pull out, who then would stand in for them?” he said.
Biti denied media reports that his party had ignored advice from Zuma not to participate in the elections on the grounds that the ground was not even. He said the MDC-T was not aware of any such advice.
“I am actually shocked to hear there is such a report. There was never such a suggestion raised at all the formal meetings we attended in Maputo,” Biti said.