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Zimbabwe: MDC-T Seeks to Bar Declaration of Vote Recount Winners
Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008

The Herald (Harare)
April 18, 2008


MDC-T yesterday filed another application at the High Court seeking an interim order barring the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission or constituency election officers from declaring as duly-elected anyone who might emerge victorious in tomorrow's vote recounts.

Cited as respondents in the application are ZEC and constituency election officers in the concerned 23 constituencies. MDC-T wants the provisional order to remain operational notwithstanding any appeal by the respondents.

The High Court will hear the application and another one seeking to stop the recounts today. ZEC has ordered a recount of presidential and House of Assembly results in 23 constituencies on the basis that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the votes were miscounted and that the miscount would affect the result of the election.

Recounts will be done tomorrow and local and foreign observers have been invited to witness the process. The recounts come after Zanu-PF unearthed anomalies in the way V11 and V23 forms were completed by ZEC officers, some of whom have since appeared in court charged with electoral fraud. ZEC has already announced House of Assembly and Senate poll results. In the House of Assembly elections, MDC-T won 99 seats, Zanu-PF 97, MDC 10 while one seat went to an independent. In the Senate elections, Zanu-PF garnered 30 seats, MDC-T 24 with MDC winning the remaining six seats. ZEC yesterday said ballot boxes used in the just-ended harmonised elections were secure as they were under police guard pending completion of the electoral process. In an interview, the commission's deputy chief elections officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana, said the ballot boxes were kept at constituency command centres in the districts countrywide under police guard. "So far we have not received any reports of ballot boxes that have been tampered with," Mr Silaigwana said. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has criticised Zimbabwe's electoral authorities for their plan to recount the March 29 presidential vote, alleging the State could have fiddled with the ballots.

Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity Cde Bright Matonga said the Bush administration's statements were hypocritical.

"It is a very unfortunate statement. He (US President George W. Bush) won the presidency through the recounting process and the courts. "It's hypocritical of him to try and advise Zimbabwe on the matter. We follow the Constitution and the electoral laws, unless he is saying that he doesn't respect the laws of this country," he said.

Cde Matonga said anyone who was against this idea should approach the courts.

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