Mnangagwa poll win must be nullified: Manyika

Dr Noah Manyika

HARARE – Presidential Election results should be nullified because fraud was committed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, says losing candidate Noah Manyika of the Build Zimbabwe Alliance.

Manyika on Wednesday filed an affidavit at the Supreme Court in support of MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s application to have the election results nullified.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner by 50.8 percent of the popular vote, avoiding a runoff by just 38,000 votes.

Chamisa, according to ZEC, polled 44.3 percent while the rest of the 21 candidates, including Manyika, shared 4.9 percent.

Manyika says Mnangagwa’s disputed win, if not challenged, will leave Zimbabwe in a state of flux for the next five years.

“We have to make sure whoever runs our country has a clean mandate. The truth does not need all this noise, the truth is very simple: if more people voted at a polling station than were registered at that polling station then there was fraud. If the numbers don’t add up, then there was fraud,” he told a news conference in Harare on Thursday.

“I don’t think this should be a difficult decision for the judges. There are so many polling stations where candidates had the same number of votes and statistically that’s impossible.”

Manyika said they were praying for a decision from the court ordering a rerun, adding that before a new election takes place, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should be reformed.

“In the event that there is a rerun, there must be a structural interdict to make sure ZEC can actually run a free and fair election,” he continued. “You can’t have another election with ZEC still constituted the way it is, with ZEC’s attitude being what it is right now and with military people seconded to ZEC. Major reforms would have to be implemented before another election is done, otherwise we would have exactly the same outcome and the very same contestation.”

Chamisa argues that ZEC inflated Mnangagwa’s returns while undercounting his votes. He has asked the Constitutional Court to invalidate Mnangagwa’s win and instead declare him the winner, or alternatively order a rerun.

Mnangagwa, in his 3,000-page response filed Wednesday, insisted that he won fairly and said Chamisa had failed to prove electoral malpractice sufficient to change the result.

Manyika said the judges of the Constitutional Court had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the course of a country and write their names into legal folklore.

“I challenge the judges of the Constitutional Court: your reputation is going to go beyond this election. You have to make the hard decision to side with truth. The facts are very simple,” said Manyika.

“If some of them (judges) are tempted to rule on the basis of a technicality, think about your children, think about all the Zimbabwean people who are suffering right now. It’s important that they judge this on the basis of facts rather than anything else. Their reputations will follow them beyond this particular incident. They have got to really think seriously about that because they will not be able to sustain a decision that is inconsistent with the will of the people. The wheels will come off the system, whether they like it or not. It’s really important that the judges, rule on the basis of facts, we are not asking them to do anything else.”

Manyika said it would be a mistake to dwell on what he described as “rabbit trails” set up by Mnangagwa in his response to Chamisa. Instead, he says the numbers will on their own prove that election fraud had occurred.

“If there are people who voted at a polling station more than were registered, that’s fraud. It’s a simple truth that requires no lawyer. If 200,000 people voted in a province in two hours, it’s a lie. That can only lead to one conclusion that this election was null and void,” he added.

If was in Mnangagwa’s best interests, said Manyika, that he had a clean mandate.

“That’s how you assure everybody that you have turned a new leaf, that’s how you assure investors,” he added.

The Constitutional Court will sit as a full bench of nine judges to hear Chamisa’s application on August 22.