WOMEN of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) leader Jenni Williams on Thursday said the MDC parties should have refused to participate in Wednesday’s elections because of poll irregularities that swayed votes to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
REPORT BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Official results from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) show Zanu PF leading in vote counts, but MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned the elections as a farce, alleging vote-rigging.
Tsvangirai cited pre-election irregularities and a number of incidents which marred the Wednesday vote, as a reason why the outcome could not be credible, but Williams said the MDCs should have foreseen this and refused to contest.
“The progressive parties should have put their heads together and refused to participate in these sham elections. They handed over victory to Zanu PF,” Williams told journalists at a Press conference organised by Matabeleland civic groups monitoring the elections.
Tsvangirai, ahead of the election, had expressed confidence, claiming he was going to win the poll, whether it was rigged or not.
In a statement on Friday, the civic groups said the outcome of the election cannot be “judged on the July 31 alone or on the ballots cast or the peaceful day, but must be judged on the whole process from Constitutional Court judgment to the day we get the final results”.
“It must also be judged on the millions of Zimbabweans both young and old, uniformed or in civilian garb who did not manage to access their right to register and vote,” the statement said.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network condemned the polls, as not credible, saying millions of eligible voters were prevented from voting to sway votes to Zanu PF’s favour.
Civic groups from Southern Africa, the Sadc Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (Sadc-CNGO) indicated that the elections were not free and fair and identified a number of irregularities that cast doubt over the credibility of its outcome.
The African Union (AU), ZEC and the Sadc observer teams have said the elections were free.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who heads the AU vote-monitoring mission, however, noted that the polls were marred by a number of irregularities.
The voters’ roll, according to independent election monitors and Sadc-CNGO, was doctored to swing votes to Zanu PF and Mugabe who could be contesting the presidential election for the last time because of his age.