By Pieter Ziegler

After the announcement of the 2023 presidential election results Zimbabwe once again faces a trying period as the opposition has alleged fraud in the plebiscite.

Late on Saturday, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that Emmerson Mnangagwa had won a second term bid with 52.6 percent against Chamisa’s 44 percent.

However, Chamisa was quick to trash the result as a blatant theft.

“They stole your voice and vote but never your hope.

“It’s a blatant and gigantic fraud”, he said on X.

In return, Mnangagwa scoffed at the remarks.

“I did not conduct these elections.

“I think those who feel the race was not run properly know where to go to complain,” he said at a press conference.

The Two Avenues

Supporting the opposition position have been the preliminary reports by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Observation Team and the African Union (AU).

They have both raised issues with the electoral environment and the legal frameworks relating to the same.

These reports provide for a flawed election argument that could support calls for a re-run.

However, strangely the opposition has not taken that path.

Instead of advancing the argument of a flawed election it has decided to question only the presidential results.

This means it accepts results from the rest of the election including the 73 National Assembly seats.

The Danger

In accepting the rest of the results the opposition is tacitly agreeing with ZANU PF that the election was properly conducted.

They now only differ in that they are questioning the results of the presidential race.

However, this is in contrast with the rest of the continental and international observer teams which have flagged the whole electoral process.

Chamisa’s heightened focus only on the presidential results means that he cannot be adequately supported by the many observer teams.

The risk in his favoured position is that he now has to provide evidentiary support in the form of V11s.

However, with reports that CCC had no agents in some remote areas of the country it seems most unlikely he can do that.

Thus as in 2018 it appears that the opposition has just launched yet another hot air excursion into nothingness.

It may go to the courts where V11s will be asked for.

It will fail to avail them.

And that will be the end of this season’s episode of Zimbabwean Elections.

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