Chamisa’s Court Evidence in Summary
Nelson Chamisa’s court challenge is basically divided into two parts. The first argument is based mainly on the arithmetic/statistical errors (intentional or otherwise) comparing ZEC announced figures to the ZEC provided election results CD, the v11 and v23 forms.
The second argument is based on the procedures followed by ZEC (and other interested parties) prior, during and after elections which might have compromised the election results.
MATHEMATICAL / STATISTICAL PROBLEMS.
In the ZEC broadcast message of 3rd of August, Emmerson Mnangagwa was announced as having scored 50.8% of votes cast. The extra 0.8% gave him a win since a presidential candidate is declared a winner if they get 50% PLUS 1 vote. That 0.8%, in this case, represents about 30 000 votes. This means if it can be proven mathematically or otherwise that Mnangagwa fraudulently acquired 30 000 votes or more, then he cannot be declared the winner. Either the person who then reaches 50%plus line after recount becomes the president or there is a rerun for the top two candidates.
1…Unaccounted for results
According to ZEC 5 659 583 individuals were registered to vote. If 72% people voted (as alleged by ZEC) then around 4 032 000 people voted. However ZEC announced a total of 4 775 640 voters having exercised their right. This means 700 000 or so votes are unaccounted for.
2. CD information discrepancy
On announcing results, ZEC also gave the party representatives information on CDs. This information unfortunately differs with the one announced by ZEC on the national broadcaster e.g. in the CD 4 774 878 people voted yet ZEC announced on TV that 4 775 640 people voted.
3. Presidential and parliamentary total votes discrepancy
When a person enters the voting station, he is given three ballots to cast their vote: LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PARLIAMENTARY (House of assembly) and PRESIDENTIAL ballots. This means at any point during collating of votes, the presidential votes in total must be equal to the House of assembly total votes for a given area. This is inclusive of spoilt papers. If ever there is a discrepancy in the tally figures then further explanation must be given as to what happened at the polling station.
In the ZEC announced tally, presidential votes were more than house of assembly by 40 717 votes. This value was accounted for by 12 constituencies only out of 210.
4. Inflating and deflating of figures.
V11 forms are usedfor capturing information at the polling station. These v11 forms are then used to collate results which are entered in the v22 n v23 forms at ward and constituency command centers. However on looking at the v11 and v23 figures, apparently Chamisa’s votes were reduced by 19 722 while those of Emmerson Mnangagwa were increased by 10 343 votes.
5. Excess total voter more than registered voters in polling stations.
A Polling station, according to ZEC, is supposed to have at least 1 registered voter but not more than 1 000 voters. However Some polling stations brought returns of a plus a thousand votes. There are also some instances were more voters than the registered number ast thier vote.This discrepancy amounted to a total of 31 204 odd votes being gained mostly by Emmerson Mnangagwa.
ZBC current affairs interviewed one presiding officer in Mashonaland whose polling station had 600 odd registered voters yet he reported on camera that by 5pm “over 900 people had cast their vote.”
In some places e.g. Mashonaland central, over 400 000 votes were announced when in actual fact only 200 000 people voted. This means 200 000 votes were created.
6. Civil servants who didn’t vote
There are 40 000 plus civil servants, mostly teachers, whose right to vote was taken away by ZEC despite court ruling ordering ZEC to make sure all its officers on national duty vote. ZEC had employed over 130 000 officers for the voting process.
7. Double collation of results
There are some stations which were collated twice. Whether it was intentional, fatigue or a simple innocent mistake, this error caused an increase of 9 035 votes of which 7 703 were accorded to Mnangagwa.
8. 21 Polling station removed on polling day
On voting day, 21 polling stations were removed from ZEC list. No explanation given. New stations, whose location was secret until their returns came to command center, were created. These 21 ghost stations brought strange result with one station bringing a return of about 5 396 votes for Emmerson Mnangagwa (a figure well about the limit of 1000 voters per polling station).
9. Tempering with v11 forms
In one example of v11 tempering a v11 form for Gezi primary school had initially been completed with Mnangagwa having 9 votes. This was later changed by putting a 54 ahead of 9 making Mnangagwa’s tally to be 549. The total votes also was rubbed and clumsily amended to reflect the new tally.
These are arguments that mostly have to do with conduct of ZEC and other interested parties which may have directly or indirectly led to compromised results being announced.
1…Fair air play coverage:
Section 160G of electoral act states that “public broadcasters shall afford all political parties and independent candidates contesting an election FREE access to their broadcasting services as may be prescribed.” Chamisa feels the national broadcaster was unfair in its coverage. However ZEC, through its chair Chigumba had INSTRUCTED BAZ and ZMC to provide equal coverage to all political players after 14 June nomination court sitting.
To this effect, Chamisa claims that since over 60% of voters in rural areas receive information via ZBC, this breach has likewise a profound effect on electoral outlook as far as different political opinions are concerned.
2. Conduct of traditional leadership.
Section 281(2)(a) of the constitution of Zimbabwe states that traditional leaders must not be members of any political party or IN ANY WAY participate in partisan politics, further the interest of any political party or act in a partisan way. Chamisa brings to attention the breach of constitution by the traditional leaders where in some instances headman were logged in as polling agents for ZANU PF. He further alleges that in some instances village heads force marched people in a batches to vote.
3. Election SMS campaign messages.
Chamisa also puts into attention the unprofessional conduct of ZEC which he alleges gave ZANU PF access to BVR information which contained personal details of voters. This culminated in ZANU PF sending solicitation SMS to registered voters. This, he claims, was a breach of security and privacy on the voters which may have caused voter intimidation in some places.
4. Half-baked Voters roll supplied.
In regards to the BVR voters roll, Chamisa also brings to light that he was denied access to voters roll. On further inquiry he was given a half-baked voters roll which unfortunately was different from the one used on voting day.
5. Wearing of party regalia
He also alleges that on 5th of February 2018 (5 days after being appointed as chairperson of ZEC) Judge Priscilla Chigumba was photographed wearing a scarf (regalia used by one of the contestant Emmerson Mnangagwa). This he alleges shows the partisan approach of ZEC chair in its conduct.
6. Voter education
Chamisa brings to light the issue of voter education. He alleges ZEC ignored the case in which on the 26th and 27th of July several ZANU PF MPs were caught in possession of reams of sample ballot papers which ZANU PF has printed n distributed to its candidates for reasons unknown. Chamisa says there is accountability and proof that the ballot papers were used for educational purposes only as it was also possible some could be used for ballot stuffing.
7. Ballot paper design
On ballot paper design, Chamisa claims the design was in breach of section 3 (11) of Electoral Regulations SI 21/2005. He points out that such a design was done to give maximum advantage to one candidate only: Emmerson Mnangagwa.
8. v11 returns
On v11 returns, Chamisa brings to light the fact that only 79% (about 8678) polling stations out of 10 985 complied with requirement to affix v11 returns outside the polling stations.
9. Postal voting.
On postal voting, the electoral act states that anyone can apply for postal voting, but only uniformed forces need to apply via their commanding officer. Once approved, ZEC must send postal votes to each individual who must vote privately and post their ballot papers back to the national presiding officer. The national presiding officer would then send the postal votes together with rest of voting material to the respective polling stations.
This was not the case as officers as some police camps were turned into mini polling stations without zec knowledge and officers forced to vote in presence of their superiors. In some cases officers were given numbers before voting, numbers which corresponded with their ballot papers serial numbers.
10. Violence, threats
He also bring to light issues of violence, threats to citizens or loss of property especially in rural areas. This in most rural areas was coupled with partisan distribution of government farm inputs such as maize seed and fertilizer.
11. Announcement of unverified results
Chamisa also points out that the results announced on national broadcaster by Chigumba were not verified as his chief elections officer Komichi was dubbed by ZEC officials and kept waiting in a separate office while ZEC clandestinely announce the results without verification, as with the procedure.
12. Improper announcement of results
According to law, Chamisa claims, presidential results are announced by CONSTITUENCY and not by PROVINCE. ZEC announced presidential results by province, instead of by constituency as is mandated. The presidential results announcement were delegated to commissioners, Chamisa argues that it is against the law which states that “Chairperson of ZEC is the only one with mandate to announce election results.”
With the above data and some which has been left out intentionally or otherwise, Chamisa is asking for nullification of ZEC declaration of Ed Mnangagwa as the winner. He seeks to be declare the winner if the new collated figured are above 50% plus 1 mark otherwise he seeks for a rerun.
Question is: Does Chamisa have a case? Can the figures topple ED from his throne? Will the judges give credible unbiased verdict?
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