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Zim crisis rooted in flawed electoral system

The crisis in Zimbabwe is rooted in the country’s flawed electoral system, where national elections are stolen by perpetrators who manage to get away with it while citizens just watch helplessly, a former cabinet minister has said.

Delivering a lecture on CITE’s Facebook Platform Wednesday, Professor Jonathan Moyo, who escaped persecution after the November 2017 coup, said the unavoidable bottom line in Zimbabwe was its crisis emanating from a consent crisis, where votes cast by citizens do not match those counted resulting in an dishonest outcome.

“In as much as people might want to keep coming up with pretentious or self-serving definitions of the crisis in Zimbabwe or choose to deny that there’s a crisis, the unavoidable bottom line is that the crisis in the country is defined by the consent crisis, triggered by an electoral system in which there’s no relationship between the votes cast and the votes counted. This is reflected by the unjust outcomes of the votes cast in the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections,” he said.

However, President Emmerson Mnangagwa insists Zimbabwe has no crisis and speaking at the Principal’s Executive Meeting at the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) Friday, said elections were held and produced a winner.

“I wish to unequivocally state there is no crisis in Zimbabwe as elections were held in July 2018 and a winner was declared in terms of the country’s constitution. All contestants were invited to join this dialogue in the national interest,” he said in Harare.

Mnangagwa said allegations that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe were found on social media and warned those border on “subversion.”

In his lecture, Prof Moyo said the 2018 presidential election managed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was flawed and the electoral body also admitted the same.

“ZEC tabled its Report in Parliament on June 27, 2019 as required under Section 241 of the constitution, in which it made it clear, perhaps inadvertently or perhaps out of incompetence but helpfully so, that it did not conduct the presidential poll in accordance with the peremptory provisions of sections 37c (4) and 110 of the Electoral Act. This fact stands alone regardless of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling on the matter,” he said.

The former minister noted that an illegally run election cannot produce a legal outcome.

“Legality cannot result from an illegality. I deal with this issue extensively in Excelgate ( Prof Moyo’s published book where he details how elections are stolen). The rights of the voter were abused by ZEC’s illegal conduct of the presidential election and the violation was made worse by the ConCourt’s endorsement of the illegality,” he said.

If this illegality is not resolved, Prof Moyo warned the crisis in Zimbabwe will persist and even worsen.

“And there would be no point in pressing for political or electoral reforms ahead of the harmonised elections scheduled for 2023 nor would there be any point in participating in those elections.”

Prof Moyo also gave another example that showed that election outcomes in Zimbabwe were flawed.

He said current MP for Chegutu West, Dexter Nduna lost the parliamentary election but continues to represent that constituency.

Prof Moyo then posed questions for Zimbabweans that if ZEC and the judiciary could allow such to happen at parliamentary level, what could stop them from facilitating the theft of a presidential election.

“Nduna knows he lost, ZEC not only knows Nduna lost but also that he lost as a result of a counting error by ZEC and the judiciary knows that ZEC made a counting error in favour of Nduna. If ZEC and the judiciary can allow this injustice, placing the responsibility to correct on the MDC Alliance candidate who won the constituency and relying on a technicality that the winner’s lawyers did not follow the correct procedure in seeking to correct ZEC’s error, then the public in general and the electorate in particular do not need the services of a rocket scientist to show that the disposition of ZEC and the judiciary has been to dispossess the MDC of its presidential and parliamentary votes by hook or crook,” he said.

“With Nduna’s Chegutu West case in mind, what is there in the Zimbabwe electoral system to stop ZEC and the judiciary from facilitating electoral theft? Of course, nothing. What is incomprehensible is the silence of the rest of society over this unprecedented attack and abuse of the right to vote. Why is the public not outraged?” he asked.

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