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Zimbabwe's Opposition Threatens People Power If Court Ruling is Not Acceptable


There’s great expectation and anxiety in Zimbabwe and perhaps the whole of Africa as the country waits to see whether the Zimbabwe High Court will Monday rule to force the country’s electoral commission to announce the results of the March 29 presidential election.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) asked the court Sunday to force the release of the results. But President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party said the results should be delayed and that there should be a vote recount. The MDC said it will not accept any recount because its leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the election and should be declare president of Zimbabwe.

Nelson Chamissa is MDC spokesman. He told VOA the MDC has already begun forming a government of inclusion irrespective of what the high court might rule.

“The judgment we need is to have an urgent effect within four hours upon judgment haven being handed down to release the results so that people will know how the various candidates performed. This is what the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and ZANU-PF are reluctant to do because they know that they were defeated and wouldn’t want to announce the outcome to the people. And we are saying this has caused an unnecessary anxiety in the nation because people would know the outcome of this election. It’s a life defining election,” he said.

Chamissa rejected the ruling ZANU-PF’s demand for a vote recount of the presidential election vote because he said Mugabe’s people have tampered with the ballot papers and boxes. He also said the demand is a clear demonstration of the party’s inability to accept defeat.

“They have been defeated; they have been rejected by the people because of their still and sterile policies, because of their antiquated program. So they are finding it very difficult. It’s a bitter pill for them to swallow for them. Surprisingly, you can’t talk of a recount of an election which result is not known. It would be quite a myth for a student to ask for a remark of an exam whose results he’s not had,” Chamissa said.

He also brushed off any suggestion of a run-off election, saying the MDC is already working on plans to form a government based on inclusiveness and accommodation.

“As far as we are concerned the so-called run-off is a non-starter for us. We know that we won the election and this is why they are pussyfooting and dragging their feet. But we are already putting plans afoot to form a government, a government based on inclusivity and accommodation. And that is our focus at the moment,” he said.

Chamissa said given Zimbabwe’s political configuration, the high court judges might be unable to render an independent judgment. But he said the MDC has other options.

“You must understand that we are taking this matter to court for posterity purposes and also to put the record straight. We have a number of tools in our box. And in our tool box the legal option is only one of them. If it is not effective enough, we are going to use our most important weapon; that is the people tool. It is what is going to achieve the results for us,” Chamissa said.

He said MDC does not intend to resort to the violence that followed Kenya’s presidential election last year. But he Chamissa said the people of Zimbabwe have the right to reclaim their dignity if they feel that their government has not respected them.

“We don’t want the lost of blood. You will want a situation whereby people are able to at least get respected. If they are not respected, they have the right to reclaim their dignity,” Chamissa said.

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