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Zimbabwe Opposition Party Ponders Next Line of Action

Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) says it is considering all options before deciding what to do about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC), announcement that there will be a presidential election run-off. The MDC says the announcement is a day light robbery calculated to perpetuate the 28-year rule of President Robert Mugabe. But partisans of the ruling ZANU-PF party dismissed the opposition claims that it won the presidential vote with over 50 percent, saying ZANU-PF is preparing to win the run-off election.

Official results of the March 29 presidential vote showed main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won with over 47.9 percent, beating incumbent President Mugabe to second position with 43.2 percent. Simba Makoni who was the only independent presidential candidate trails the two with 8.9 percent. Nelson Chamisa is the spokesman for Zimbabwe’s main opposition MDC. From the capital, Harare he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the opposition is considering its next line of action.

“The MDC is a people-based party and is a mass-based organization. And it is exactly consistent and in line with that tradition that we had a meeting this weekend at the party’s headquarters in Harare and deliberated on a number of issues. Among them was the issue of the election results, which we in our view consider to be waylaying of the people’s will by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission because they arrogantly and unilaterally proceeded to announce the outcome without verification, which is a cooked and a concocted result, and we rejected that result,” Chamisa noted.

He described as bogus and unfortunate the presidential election results released by the electoral commission.

“Apart from rejecting the results, we are calling for the verification of the actual results so that we will come up with the proper results. Before we talk about a run-off, we need to exhaust all the other build up processes verification also consistent with the SADC (Southern African Development Community) resolutions that had a summit in Mulungushi with Article Number 14, which said all parties should be able to verify the results,” he said.

Chamisa said the MDC will register its protest about the election results with some regional leaders and organizations.

“In fact we have always emphasized that going to court is as good as going to Mugabe’s bedroom and expect to get justice. That will not happen. We are simply going to raise this matter with SADC region because they are the ones, who made the resolution, and they are the ones who are the guarantors and our insurance in terms of whatever misdemeanor or misdeeds that might be done by any other party, ZANU-PF included, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission included. So, that is our appeal, but that does not mean that we are also going to just wait there. We want to be convinced by ZEC that indeed there is a run-off and the run-off is necessary. Once we are convinced, we are ready anytime, any minute to defeat Mugabe once more,” Chamisa pointed out.

He described as preposterous accusation by the ruling ZANU-PF party that some officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission rigged the vote for the opposition.

“They (ZANU-PF) would want to justify why they lost so much. This election was a ZANU-PF government-run election, not an MDC government-run election. And it is for that reason that we see no reason why they should be crying about the election. In fact this is the first time where we having a government or a regime accusing itself of rigging, and this is totally unacceptable,” he said.