The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has called for calm in the event of electoral disputes after today’s harmonised elections, saying this was necessary for the prosperity of the country, daily tabloid the NewsDay reported on Monday.
The country held general elections on Monday, July 30 to elect a President, councillors and House of Assembly members.
“Elections tend to produce winners and losers. We know that sometimes results can get disputed. We pray that such electoral disputes will not be used to ignite politically-motivated violence. We call upon all Christians in political leadership to restrain their followers and to do all that which will prevent violence,” the ZCC said in a statement on Sunday.
“We know that in the context of political competition, a lot of words are used and messages exchanged to promote one party or candidate over and against the other. When all has been said and done, we pray that our political leaders will find each other and work together for the prosperity of all Zimbabweans.”
“Many questions have been raised about our capacity as a nation to accomplish a peaceful, free and fair election. We therefore pray for all the men and women tasked with coordinating, protecting, observing and conducting various duties to strive to make this election credible, peaceful, free and fair.
“We especially pray that they will conduct themselves with the independence, dignity and professionalism so as to uphold the honour of their different offices,” the ZCC added.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has promised to announce the results within five days.
The electoral management body has promised to conduct a credible election, but the opposition argues that the electoral environment favours the ruling Zanu PF.
Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa have been cited as leading contenders in opinion polls.
Mnangagwa and Chamisa are both confident of election victory.
Earlier today Chamisa tweeted that he was ‘winning resoundingly’.
Winning resoundingly…We now have results from the majority of the over 10 000 polling stations. We’ve done exceedingly well. Awaiting ZEC to perform their constitutional duty to officially announce the people’s election results and we are ready to form the next gvt.#Godisinit
— Nelson Chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) 31 July 2018
Mr Mnangagwa also tweeted, saying he is delighted by the citizen engagement and that his representatives informed him that things were ‘extremely positive’.
Good morning Zimbabwe. I am delighted by the high turnout and citizen engagement so far. The information from our reps on the ground is extremely positive! Waiting patiently for official results as per the constitution.
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) 31 July 2018
In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it expects to commence announcing election results from 15:00 on the same day.
Commission Chief Justice Priscilla Chigumba says most of the nearly 11 000 polling stations have completed vote-counting and that a verification process is underway.
She says “the atmosphere has remained peaceful” across the country and that she has received no major complaints about how Monday’s election was conducted.
Chigumba says the electoral commission has five days to release the final tally and expects to do so within that time period.
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