MDC claims ‘victory’ as govt warns against premature celebrations
HARARE - Wild celebrations broke out at MDC Alliance party headquarters in the Zimbabwe's capital, with the opposition supporters claiming their party had won the polls.
“Chamisa! Chamisa! Chamisa!” supporters could be heard as they danced in the streets waving palms ‑ a symbol of the MDC.
“We have won this election and we are celebrating so that the international media captures our victory,” one opposition supporter said.
“We want the whole world to see that Zanu PF wants to steal our victory. This time it can’t.”
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa on Tuesday morning took to social media to say he is winning the Zimbabwean elections "resoundingly", even though the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has not announced presidential results.
Earlier in the day, alliance principal Tendai Biti also accused the electoral body of delaying releasing the results and trying to facilitate electoral fraud.
Biti emphatically declared Chamisa’s victory.
However, government has given a stern warning to political parties and individuals to desist from making unlawful pronouncements regarding the elections.
Home affairs and cultural heritage minister Obert Mpofu told the media in Harare that section 66A of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) outlawed the unofficial or false announcement of poll results.
“It is against this background that, as government, we have noted with concern the actions and conduct of some political party leaders, civic organisations, individuals and other interested groups who are openly declaring that they will announce results irrespective of the provisions of the law. I am sure no one wants to provoke the wrath of the law and risk being sent to jail,” he said.
Mpofu said the government was perturbed with “the high level of incitement to violence” being perpetrated by certain individuals and some political party leaders, whom he said had declared themselves winners even before the announcement of results.”
He said law enforcement agents were already investigating party leaders alleged to have taken the law into their own hands.
“Let me also warn such individuals and groups that no one is above the law, the law enforcement agency will arrest anyone found on the wrong side of the law without fear or favour irrespective of your political stature, gender, colour or creed in society,” Mpofu said.
Announcements of official results are a prerogative of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
African News Agency (ANA)