By Staff Reporter
Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa has congratulated the people of Malawi, a day after that country’s constitutional court ordered a new presidential election after annulling the disputed results of last year’s presidential vote.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had declared President Peter Mutharika 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.
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.
“I wish to congratulate the people of Malawi on the historic verdict of their judiciary which has shown courage to nullify the rigged election. I commend their institutions, including the judiciary & security services, which have stood firm in defence of the Constitution,” Chamisa tweeted.
“It’s a reminder that where institutions retain independence & professionalism it is possible to correct wrong politics.For too long our continent has been plagued by the scourge of unfair elections. It gives hope to see court’s checks & controls curtailing capture & abuse.
“Malawians have a fresh opportunity, courtesy of the courage and wisdom demonstrated by their judges & the support of key institutions, to have a free & fair election. Lest we forget, we here in Zimbabwe have an outstanding matter – the legitimacy of the rigged 2018 election.
“SADC & AU are urged to draw key lessons from events in Malawi not to rush to endorse sham elections where people have legitimate concerns over processes. SADC and the AU as institutions of resort deserve a renewal and re-orientation to defend African people’s interests.
“The generation that rigs elections by violence,manipulation of state institutions, corruption, TIPPEX, EXCEL scandals & dictatorial tendencies by men from the past must be put a stop. Justice demands the young generation to lead the way. Let us build a NEW AFRICA! #PeoplesGovernment.”
Sadc executive secretary Dr Stergomena Tax also took to twitter and wrote; “In light of #Malawi Constitutional Court judgement on May 2019 elections, #SADC applauds the people of Malawi for having faith in the judiciary, & for respecting the rule of law. #SADC calls on all to remain calm, & for preparations for the #elections to commence @edmnangagwa.”
But she was in for some brutal criticism on the micro-blogging platform.
Luckson Zvobgo: “What about your SADC election observer report that say elections were conducted fairly and professionally. That’s a total disgrace.”
Ngugi wa Thiong’o: “you have no shame and you useless SADC. You create conflict in the region by endorsing sham elections. Right now this shld be egg on your faces. Its time you old people stop your nonsense and allow Africa a chance to move forward.”
Dennis Chidzurira: “Meanwhile your observer team went for twerking! And produced a bogus report for such monumental fraud. Your sheepish selves are faithfully keen to endorse hogwash. Utterly pathetic at the level you operate. Care about credibility?”
Chambii: “SADC is so useless. The best you can do is to issue an apology to Malawians and entire region.”
Demmi Ziwewera: “Shame on you & the whole @SADC_News, buffoons masquerading as leaders. Your homeboy Magufuli is busy suppressing dissent in Tanzania like Mnangagwa the election thief is doing in Zimbabwe.”
Peter Mutasa: “You must be ashamed of yourself. You hurriedly endorsed this fraud and said MEC followed the electoral laws and the Constitution. Now without apologising, you want to appear you side with citizens while you are the defender of dictators in the region. Shame on SADC & U.”