Mr Chamisa, winners exude confidence! MDC-Alliance leader Mr Chamisa is led into a Harare hotel on August 3, to address a Press conference. — News wires

Tendai H. Manzvanzvike
IT’S game over, and this writer cannot agree more with the thinker who says, “Good management is what creates results.” The same with Paul Hawken’s flip-side when he says, “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.”

The July 30 harmonised elections have come and gone, and the handling of the electoral process fits into both management set-ups.

A big round of applause for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s chair Justice Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba and her team for giving Zimbabwe a credible election despite the many challenges they faced: from the BVR registration, right up to the announcement of the results.

The state of the economy is such that we never thought that they would announce all sets of results: parliamentary, local government and Presidential elections, three and half days after polling day.

If people care to be objective and realistic, and not use their emotions because they expected certain candidates to win, they will admit that ZEC and the voting population faced a mammoth task.

Thus Justice Chigumba should be commended for displaying leadership and remaining resolute in the midst of winds and waves threatening to engulf the whole process.

As a writer, I am analysing ZEC schedules on election notices that were published by all media houses, including the “Results of the Presidential Elections per Polling Station”, published yesterday.

On July 28, they published the “Printing and Distribution of ballot papers” with the following key information:

Presidential ballot papers
Total voters: 5 695 706
Total ballots printed: 6 150 950
Total % contingency: 8
National Assembly ballot papers
Total voters: 5 695 706
Total ballots printed: 6 150 950
Total % contingency: 8
Local authority ballot papers
Total voters: 5 590 044
Total ballots printed: 6 036 250
Total % contingency: 8

These are not small figures. They also published schedules for National Assembly candidates by constituency, name, gender and political party; and, a final schedule of all the 10 985 polling stations.

The speedy and/or slow announcement of the results of a voting process that ended at 7:00pm on July 30, is a matter for conjecture, depending on whether one has been analysing Zimbabwe’s electoral processes since 1980.
Throwing brickbats at ZEC without full knowledge of all electoral stages is mediocre and pedestrian.

That the MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa started tweeting early morning on July 31, claiming that their party was winning convincingly, on the basis of information they had received from more than 10 000 polling stations, means that he is very far removed from reality.

That some members of the G40 cabal who are now part of the MDC-Alliance also started sending him congratulatory messages four hours after the voting process was over, was not only laughable, but a sign that although some of them had been legislators and Cabinet Ministers in former president Mr Mugabe’s Government, they never learnt anything about election processes.

How could 10 000 polling stations avail results a few hours after closure of voting, giving misleading signals on how such a humongous process is administered? Many polling stations lacked good lighting, including some in Harare where there was power outage.

United States of America’s Senator Jeff Flake of the Republican Party, who was among the hordes of international observers, was more realistic in his assessment of challenges, which would make it impossible to release all results in the time frame that most people expected.

The Damascene moment was when Senator Flake is reported to have said he “observed a primitive hand count of votes by the light of kerosene lamps”, leading him to tweet: “Democracy doesn’t get any better than this.”

ZEC, on behalf of its stakeholders, said they had noted all the areas that need to be improved on, as pointed out by observer missions and promised that they would ensure future electoral processes met international best practices.
When the nation was set to move on after the most peaceful election ever, as usual, the devil was in the detail.

The MDC-Alliance rejected the presidential results, and true to their word during the campaign process, they went on the rampage in Harare’s central business district last Wednesday. The end result was the needless death of six people, and a number of injuries, with hundreds of entrepreneurs losing lots of money.

Mr Chamisa had lived up to his promise that a result that did not declare him the winner would make Zimbabwe ungovernable. He continues on that trajectory, still claiming that he won the presidential election and he has evidence to that effect.

This is despite the official information that the MDC-Alliance did not have agents in 200 polling stations. It is also notwithstanding that Mr David Coltart, a very senior member of the MDC-Alliance, has been pleading with polling agents, probably those they still have to pay, to upload the V11 forms in order to bolster their case that President-elect Mnangagwa lost to Mr Chamisa.

A number of other presidential aspirants have conceded defeat, but Mr Chamisa has not. He is holding the nation to ransom by claiming that he has a strong case against ZEC and Zanu-PF “rigging” the presidential election.

Professor Lovemore Madhuku, one of the aspiring candidates under the banner of the National Constitutional Assembly, who has already conceded defeat, made an incisive analysis of Mr Chamisa’s belligerent stance.

In an interview with an online news organisation, Prof Madhuku said, “We have no issues with the results, and I also believe that all presidential candidates were voted by the numbers announced. I don’t believe candidates should choose which results to accept and which results not to accept.”

Turning to why Mr Chamisa accepts defeat in the National Assembly and not the presidency, he quipped: “Why should ZEC only rig the presidential election, and not of all candidates, but just one? We need to accept the outcome and move forward as a country.”

Claiming that you are the winner because that has always been your dream is one thing, but having the confidence to say that is another.

A picture of Mr Chamisa captured by the international media while he was preparing to address local and international media at a local hotel last Friday, speaks volumes.

The writer first saw the picture on South Africa’s News24/City Press website as they were doing their live updates.
Not only does the picture show him in a state of massive shock — as the world was collapsing around him, but he needed massive hand-holding, physically and otherwise.

Mr Chamisa, winners as we know it, exude confidence, but this picture sums it up. Defeat is written all over that picture.
French statesman Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” just like this one.

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