By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is crying foul over the contents of a book published by former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo, the “Excelgate” which exposes how President Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly solicited the commission to rig the 2018 presidential elections.
In his book titled, “How Zimbabwe’s 2018 Presidential Election Was Stolen”, Moyo accuses Mnangagwa and the military of leading a military coup that led to the ouster of late former president Robert Mugabe and eventually rigging elections a year later.
Moyo went on to reveal the anatomy of electoral fraud and forces that were deployed by the Joint Operations Command (JOC) using state institutions and individuals that worked in its “political captivity and command”.
He argues that at the zenith of the 2018 election rigging process ZEC reportedly turned the National Command Centre in Harare, a verification and announcement of results site, into a “giant polling station” where a combination of soldiers and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) details “in excess of 20” went on “punching in what was identified as V11 data into an excel spreadsheet for close to two days” in a ‘daring violation of electoral laws of the country.’
In the Excelgate page 70 to 72, Moyo accused a woman named Mavis Matanga, of being an active Divisional Intelligence Officer deployed in ZEC’s operations division to rig elections.
He alleges that in 2018 Matanga was deputised by retired major Chivasa after being seconded to ZEC by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to “manage” election operations and logistics.
On Thursday, ZEC took to its microblogging Twitter handle to dismiss Moyo’s sentiments. The commission argues that the parties that were aggrieved after the election went to court and the issue was resolved.
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa alleged that Mnangagwa, who was declared winner of the 2018 presidential election with a wafer-thin 50,8% of the total vote, was the beneficiary of a calculated vote rigging mechanism by ZEC. He went to the Constitutional Court and lost.
“We have seen some damaging allegations against the Commission in a book called Excelgate by Prof. J Moyo. Take note that the election was conducted in 2018 and aggrieved parties followed the constitutionally laid down procedures to challenge the election.
“The Constitutional Court made a definitive ruling which concluded the matter. The Commission will not be drawn into any brawls on issues that have been concluded by the country’s highest court.
“The Commission is busy with important work of stakeholder consultations on how to map 2023 election delimitation and will not be distracted from its constitutional mandate by unfounded allegations,” ZEC said.
Responding to ZEC on Twitter, Moyo accused the commission of having little knowledge about the Excelgate despite it being given to its Chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba in 2019.
“You pretend that you have just seen Excelgate’s contents yet your Chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, was given a copy in Dec 2019.
“The ConCourt case was one process; Excelgate is based on researched and verifiable facts. Your Mavis Matsanga is CIO and your Major Chivasa is ZDF!,” he said. Nehanda Radio