Cross calls out Chamisa on poll lies

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Se­nior Re­porter

FOR­MER MDC Al­liance se­nior of­fi­cial Mr Ed­die Cross has called out Mr Nel­son Chamisa for ly­ing that he won the July 30 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions as lo­cal au­thor­ity re­sults — which have re­mained un­con­tested — do not cor­rob­o­rate his claims.

Mr Cross, who re­cently re­signed from pol­i­tics, said the Al­liance should con­cede de­feat and move for­ward.

There is no way a coali­tion that won less than 30 per­cent of lo­cal coun­cil elec­tions, he said on his blog last week, could have won the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

“Firstly, we have held an­other elec­tion: it was more open, demo­cratic and ac­cept­able than any other elec­tion I can re­call, and I have been a player in all of them since 1980,” wrote Mr Cross.

“It was con­tested, but when you ap­pre­ci­ate that the MDC-Al­liance won only 570 coun­cil­lor seats out of nearly 2 000 (28,6 per­cent), you can un­der­stand why I think the MDC-Al­liance claim of a Pres­i­den­tial vic­tory with 2,6 mil­lion votes as be­ing most un­likely and not cred­i­ble.

“Not one of these coun­cil elec­tions have been chal­lenged — how can they? There were se­cured un­der the close scru­tiny of the tens of thou­sands of lo­cal gov­ern­ment can­di­dates and their elec­tion agents — counted very care­fully and then con­cluded at all 210 con­trol cen­tres run by ZEC, with the can­di­dates and their agents sign­ing off on the re­sults, which were then an­nounced at the cen­tres and at the Na­tional Con­trol Cen­tre in Harare,” he said.

Mr Cross’s coun­sel came as Mr Chamisa yes­ter­day be­gun “con­sul­ta­tive” ral­lies that are be­ing chore­ographed to serve as a spring­board to launch a cam­paign to desta­bilise the coun­try.

Mr Chamisa has al­ready threat­ened to roll out street protests to “de­fend the peo­ple’s vote”. On Au­gust 24, the Con­sti­tu­tional Court dis­missed — with costs — Mr Chamisa’s elec­tion pe­ti­tion chal­leng­ing the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sult.

The fact that Mr Chamisa was de­feated by more than 300 000 by Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, Mr Cross added, made his claim of elec­toral fraud un­ten­able.

“That is why the Con­sti­tu­tional Court unan­i­mously de­cided that Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa was elected as Pres­i­dent.

‘‘That is why they said the MDC-Al­liance had not proved their case; that is why they even awarded costs — nor­mally a puni­tive mea­sure...

“Thank good­ness he (Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa) got enough votes to avoid a runoff — that would have been a dis­as­ter for all of us — ex­tend­ing the un­cer­tainty and the very real pos­si­bil­ity of un­do­ing all the pos­i­tive things that were ac­tu­ally achieved in this elec­tion.”

He said the fact that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity had ac­cepted the poll out­come left the coali­tion with lit­tle room to ma­noeu­vre. Mr Cross said he was dis­ap­pointed by Mr Chamisa’s de­ci­sion to spur Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s en­join­der to fo­cus on na­tional peace, sta­bil­ity and de­vel­op­ment. “I am deeply dis­ap­pointed that the MDC Al­liance seems to have turned its back on these ini­tia­tives and in­stead have con­tin­ued to make the as­ser­tion that this was a ‘stolen’ elec­tion and that Nel­son Chamisa is the le­git­i­mate Pres­i­dent and that they are threat­en­ing rolling mass ac­tion to en­force this po­si­tion. Not only is this fu­tile, but it also threat­ens fur­ther vi­o­lence and in­sta­bil­ity when what we re­ally need is na­tional unity and an agree­ment to put our dif­fer­ence aside in a con­certed ef­fort to deal with the tough is­sues that con­front us in the next five years.

“If the MDC Al­liance would agree to this, then ... They would be part of the so­lu­tion in­stead of be­ing a prob­lem.”

Mean­while, Mr Chamisa’s al­leged dic­ta­to­rial ten­den­cies are un­der­stood to be strain­ing the Al­liance.

Last week, dif­fer­ences emerged on field­ing can­di­dates for pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers in the Na­tional Assem­bly and Se­nate, where Zanu-PF has an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity.

There were also grum­blings af­ter Mr Chamisa re­port­edly im­posed can­di­dates in last week’s may­oral elec­tions in Harare, Bu­l­awayo and Vic­to­ria Falls, among other ur­ban lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. Some op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors in Chi­tung­wiza were ac­cused of vot­ing with Zanu-PF and it is un­der­stood Mr Chamisa wants to take ac­tion against them.

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