Farirai Machivenyika and Fidelis Munyoro
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has warned the public to be wary of alleged results being circulated on social media saying it’s unlawful for undesignated persons to announce fictitious, unverified results.
This was said by ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba in a media briefing this morning while giving an update on yesterday’s harmonised elections adding that the official results are expected to start trickling in this afternoon.
“The Commission will announce results as they come in,” she said.
“All stakeholders are reminded that it is unlawful to announce results because it is a direct contravention of Section 66A (a) (a) of the Electoral Act. The announcement of official results by undesignated persons have the potential of misleading the public and raise unnecessary political emotions.”
She added that announcement of results on social media was an offence.
“It is an offence in terms of the Electoral Act to announce results unless you are a duly designated ZEC official. If you announce results that are not official to your friend on WhatsApp that is an offence.”
She added that vote counting and collation was almost complete at all polling stations across the country.
Justice Chigumba said by 6.30 this morning vote counting in Mashonaland East was complete while collating at wards was 70 percent complete, in Matebeleland North vote counting was almost complete, Masvingo 100 percent complete while Mashonaland West had also completed vote counting.
In Mashonaland Central, vote counting was 98 percent complete while Harare was 75 percent, Midlands 48 percent while Bulawayo vote counting is complete with Manicaland at 56 percent as at 9 this morning.
Justice Chigumba also said they had not received any complaints from any political party or candidate on the manner the voting process was conducted.
“As of now we can safely advise that we have not received any official complaints from any political party about the voting process. What we have seen is all sorts of speculation on social media but with regards to official complaints none of that has happened,” she said.
The ZEC chairperson also assured Zimbabweans that the voting process was done above board,
“We are absolutely confident that there was no cheating and we are absolutely confident that there was no rigging,” Justice Chigumba said.
“We would like to assure the Zimbabwe people that we will not steal their choice of leaders. ZEC will not subvert their will. Whatever it is that comes out in our results is exactly what they have decided.”