PRESIDENTIAL candidate Nelson Chamisa has declared he has won the popular vote and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is preparing the country to accept “fake presidential results”.
The announcement came despite rival Emmerson Mnangagwa seemingly ahead in election results so far.
The 40-year-old lawyer and pastor tweeted: “Zec seeks to release results to buy time & reverse the people’s presidential election victory.
“The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results. We’ve more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo). We won the popular vote & will defend it!”
If Mr Chamisa from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) wins he will be the youngest candidate elected to the head of state in Zimbabwe.
Parliamentary results are trickling in and so far the ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) are leading the way to secure a majority of seats in parliament.
The ZEC reported in its preliminary results that Mr Mnangagwa’s party has won the majority seats in parliament, showing he picked up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
According to the results of 102 constituencies, ZANU-PF has bagged 73 seats, MDC Alliance 28, while one seat went to the National Patriotic Front (NPF).
The House of Assembly of Parliament has 210 seats and ZANU-PF needs to win 30 more to achieve its goal of a two-thirds majority, which would allow it to amend the constitution.
Nelson Chamisa has declared victory before the official results are in
Mr Mnangagwa, 75, is the leader of ZANU-PF after ousting Robert Mugabe in November in a bloodless coup.
This is the first time in 38 years Mr Mugabe’s name has not appeared on a ballot.
Mr Mnangagwa has swept up victories in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, while Mr Chamisa has secured wins from the urban areas.
On Tuesday former MDC finance minister Tendai Biti and ZESN, the main domestic election monitor, said one in five polling stations – more than 2,000 in all – had not physically posted tallies on their doors, as required by law.
That omission gave room for the ZEC, which ZESN and the opposition have accused of bias, to manipulate the results in favour of Mr Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party, Biti said.
Voters in Zimbabwe traditionally pick a presidential candidate based on their party affiliation.
The trend in the parliamentary election is expected to continue as the final results for the presidential election are announced later this week.
Even though the election passed off peacefully, several water cannon trucks patrolled outside the central Harare headquarters of the MDC as its red-shirted supporters danced in the streets.