HARARE – Zimbabwe government Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi says SADC Observer Missions did not have the evidence of rigging when they pronounced the 2019 elections as free and credible.
Speaking a day after the the High Court of Malawi issued a court order nullifying the results Mutodi said, “The basis for the nullification of Malawian Presidential results is the use of tippex to alter figures on election results forms. Such a practice is unprecedented and we believe Election Observer Missions did not have such evidence when they ruled the election credible.”
The court said the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had erred when it declared President Peter Mutharika as the narrow winner of an election in May of last year, with 38 percent of votes, followed by Lazarus Chakwera, with 35 percent, and former Vice President Saulos Chilima in third place, with 20 percent. The top two contenders then petitioned the court to have the results nullified, alleging several irregularities.
In their 500-page ruling, the panel of judges cited the widespread use of unauthorised correction fluid to alter figures, the use of duplicate result sheets and unsigned results forms as cases that compromised the outcome of the vote.
The basis for the nullification of Malawian Presidential results is the use of Tippex to alter figures on election results forms. Such a practice is unprecedented & we believe Election Observer Missions did not have such evidence when they ruled the election credible.
They said the results announced by MEC “cannot be trusted as a true reflection of the will of the voters” and told Parliament to evaluate whether the commission can conduct the new election, which should be held within 150 days.
Reacting to the ruling opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera said, “This is a landmark decision for Africa, for Malawi, for democracy and we would want to see that everyone respects that.”
The ruling can be appealed to the Supreme Court.