BUILD Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) leader Noah Manyika has joined his MDC Alliance counterpart Nelson Chamisa in disputing results of the July 30 presidential election, citing alleged systematic manipulation of figures to ensure President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.
BY Everson Mushava
Manyika, in his response to Chamisa’s election petition filed at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) last Friday, claimed that the tallying of votes for the presidential poll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) provided clear evidence of systematic manipulation of the voting results to avoid a run-off election. In court papers filed yesterday, Manyika said there was sufficient evidence to warrant the nullification of Mnangagwa’s victory.
Manyika was one of the 23 presidential candidates cited as respondents in Chamisa’s court challenge where the youthful leader is seeking to overturn Mnangagwa’s 50,8% electoral victory.
He claimed there were glaring irregularities in Zec’s own published results as well as analysis of V11 and V23a forms.
Manyika said there were discrepancies between the results published by Zec in the form of spreadsheets on its website and on compact discs provided to political parties and the differences showed a deliberate “manipulation of results”.
“The Zec’s published results show that Mnangagwa had 4 904 votes less than the announced results. In addition, Zec’s published results also reflected a higher number of votes cast, which further reduced Mnangagwa’s percentage of the vote,” he said in his affidavit. “According to Zec’s published results, Mr Mnangagwa avoided a run-off by a mere 31 830 votes.”
Manyika said Zec’s published results demonstrated that several polling stations were double-counted in computing the results and an analysis by one Edgar Otumba Ouko provided several examples of double-counting of polling stations in the Rushinga and Mbire constituencies to give Mnangagwa an additional 7 703 votes.
He said results at eight pairs of polling stations had identical tallies for all 23 presidential candidates, including an identical number of total votes and spoilt ballots, a trend described by experts as near-impossible.
Manyika said Zec’s published results showed duplicated results in another 20 pairs of polling stations (40 polling stations in total), where Mnangagwa and Chamisa purportedly received a uniform number of votes in different polling stations.
“Given the extent of this duplication, the results from these 40 polling stations must also be treated as highly suspicious,” Manyika said. “On my calculations, the polling stations with duplicated results accounted for at least 16 199 votes, which gave Mr Mnangagwa an additional 9 592 votes. I submit that these votes, which are a product of double counting, must be disregarded and excluded from the votes obtained by Mr Mnangagwa,” Manyika argued.
The BZA leader also said there were ghost polling stations that were not on the list published by Zec before the elections. “Two examples of these ghost polling stations appear as 1HRDC and 4HRDC at Annexure M to the founding affidavit. These two polling stations alone accounted for a further 5 396 votes in favour of Mr Mnangagwa. These votes must also be disregarded. The votes cast here should be excluded from the total of the votes allocated to Mr Mnangagwa,” he said.
Manyika said at some polling stations, there were more voters than the number of registered voters, in some cases exceeding the 1 000 threshold of voters at any particular polling station. He added that some constituencies recorded an access of 2 000 extra votes against the number of registered voters.
He also cited the suspicious discrepancies between the parliamentary and presidential votes without any explanation from Zec, yet voters were given three ballot papers, one for presidential, parliamentary and council votes.
“Expert evidence concludes that “the total number of the National Assembly votes was 4 734 161 against a total of 4 774 878 for the presidential election. Expert evidence concludes that there were, inexplicably, more than 40 717 more votes in the presidential election than the parliamentary election,” Manyika said.
“Zec’s published results inflated Mr Mnangagwa’s total votes by at least 10 343 votes; and more than 19 722 votes for Mr Chamisa were entirely disregarded in the Zec’s election results.”
He said it was clear Mnangagwa fell far short of the 50%+1 votes required to avoid a run-off.