THE failure of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to announce the results of the presidential elections in time has caused unnecessary anxiety.
Legally ZEC was supposed to have furnished us with results within a reasonable time after polling. Now we are into the second week after polling and ZEC is still silent and one wonders if two weeks after polling is still a reasonable delay. This exposes the fact that ZEC is not an independent electoral commission. In fact it is a Zanu PF organ which receives orders on whether to announce the results or to withhold them to serve the interests of Mugabe.
The delay in the announcement of the presidential poll results is particularly ominous to Morgan Tsvangirai who – according to independent sources – emerged the victor in the presidential race. Zanu PF is obviously busy rigging the results so that at least they can force a run-off. Probably they have now finished tampering with the ballot boxes and that is why they are demanding a re-count.
I advise the MDC to resist Zanu PF machinations with all the energy at its disposal. If they achieve a run-off, legally it is supposed to be held within 21 days after the announcement of the results. To Zanu PF this is too short a time to put its fractured house in order, if at all it can be able to do that. Thus, the delay in the announcement of the presidential results is an illegal tactic by Zanu PF to buy time to consolidate its campaign. I am afraid they will be able to buy even three months, which they will use to ruthlessly crush opposition by way of torture, intimidation and all other forms of violence which Zanu PF is known for.
Currently they have started descending on MDC supporters with savage vehemence and a degree of alarming alacrity especially in the rural areas where they thrive on a culture of violence. There is evidence of eviction of people from their farms, homes, beatings, abductions and vote buying. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has already started releasing vehicles for the campaign. All this is being done while ZEC is withholding the results.