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MDC-T leader cries foul

MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will vigorously lobby the African Union (AU) and Sadc to overturn Wednesday’s poll results to pave way for fresh elections that are free, fair and credible.

BY PHYLLIS MBANJE

Addressing a press conference in Harare yesterday, the former Prime Minister said his party had rejected the elections outcome because they were fraudulent and far from being credible.

He said the elections had plunged the country into a constitutional, political and economic mess.

“We are rejecting the elections and have resolved to approach the AU and Sadc for absolution,” he said.

Tsvangirai said the MDC-T would prepare a dossier which they would present to both the AU and Sadc.

“We will also approach the courts and exhaust all legal channels in a peaceful manner,” said Tsvangirai, who added that once all that had been done, a credible election must then be held.

Tsvangirai said they would also call for a forensic audit of the voters roll and the ballot paper.

The MDC-T leader said the process leading to the elections was fraught with numerous, glaring irregularities which included the absence of the voters’ roll, bussing of people and intimidation of voters. He also said Zanu PF used special voting and assistance of voters to steal the elections.

“I will give you an example, in Muzarabani, of the 17 000 voters, 10 500 were assisted,” he said.

Tsvangirai threatened to boycott participation by the MDC-T in any government institutions.
“We will not participate in institutions which are formed by an illegitimate government,” said the former Prime Minister. “We pray that the AU and Sadc will help restore the situation once we have presented them with evidence that we have gathered.”

Responding to reports that he was supposed to step down after the humiliating defeat, Tsvangirai said it was only his party that could remove him from his position.

“I did not lose the elections in my personal capacity, it is the party’s mandate to actually ask me to step down but at the moment, I have its full backing,” he said.

He does not regret entering into the coalition government with President Robert Mugabe.

“Entering into the coalition government was not a mistake, schools had closed and hospitals too, but when we came in, things turned around. Most hospitals are now functioning, there is food in all shops,” he said.

The MDC-T leader dispelled rumours that he had been approached by Zanu PF for another coalition government.

Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Trade Union Coordination Council (Satucc), which represents 19 national trade union federations in the 13 Sadc countries, has said the elections were peaceful but their credibility were greatly compromised.

“The credibility of the harmonised elections is greatly compromised by the failure by ZEC and the Registrar General’s office to avail the voters’ roll until the eve of the voting day.

“In all 87 polling stations that our team visited, many voters were turned away because either their name was not on the voters’ roll or their registration slips did not indicate the number,” read part of their preliminary report released yesterday.

The council said the elections had not met some of the Sadc principles governing polls.

The AU and Sadc have already declared that the elections were credible and urged political parties to accept the results.

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