Discredited ZEC says rigging allegations “are just bar talk without proof”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has described as “bar talk”, allegations that it rigs elections in support of Zanu-PF, and challenged accusers to provide evidence.
Addressing political parties attending a youth caucus peace-building meeting hosted by 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation in Harare yesterday, ZEC spokesperson Jasper Mangwana challenged political parties to prove how the commission rigs elections.
“If you want to say ZEC has rigged elections or that something has not been done correctly, then we need substantive evidence. There is a provision of the Electoral Court in the Electoral Act where you should take all these matters.
“You as the political actors are the same people who are actually sending the voters away. Elections end with V11s; those other issues about favour and malpractices are just bar talk without proof.
“If you have an issue with an electoral process, you are the people in Parliament, and if you have a problem with the law that you put into place, go back and sort it there in Parliament because ZEC does not make laws,” Mangwana said.
Mangwana also said ZEC did not control the pre-electoral campaign environment.
“It’s not an electoral provision for Zec to manage campaigns. We do not approve campaigns, we don’t even talk about such issues; you drag us into the mud for nothing. Those are issues outside our mandate,” he said.
The electoral body has been under-fire for manipulating election results during the last plebiscites.
In 2018, ZEC was dragged to court by then opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for declaring Zanu-PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa winner of the presidential race. The court, however, endorsed ZEC’s results.
Mangwana blamed political party youths for causing voter apathy by continuing to blame ZEC for their electoral loss.
“There seems to be voter apathy among youths because you are the same people who want to be voted for. One day you go to your constituency and say vote for me, and the next day you say the election was rigged.
“Do you expect that young person to take you seriously? Do you really think that young person will go to a voter registration centre and say I have come to register to vote?”
Former cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo said: “This is a major ZEC concession, Jasper Mangwana, very big; the issue is no longer whether but how you rig. It’s akin to a witch who challenges victims of his witchcraft to prove how he bewitches them!”