Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has revealed that she has reported two presidential candidates to the police. The two candidates, who she did not name directly, are reported have been referred to the police to see if they violated sections of the Electoral Act as well as the Code of Conduct after they released statements yesterday which may be interpreted as campaigning beyond the stipulated deadline. According to the Electoral Law, all candidates are required to stop all campaign activities 48 hours before the election.
Last night Zec confirmed that it had reported Nelson Chamisa after he briefed the media concerning the results of the election. Though Zec refused to explicitly name the other presidential candidate, it is likely to be President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa released a video on his Facebook page, in which he responded to allegations which had been made by Robert Mugabe after the former president made it clear that he was not going to vote for either Zanu-PF or President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chigumba made the statements at her first Election Day update. Said Chigumba,
I said two candidates were reported to have been in violation. The violations have gone to the police. In the interest of maintaining a peaceful environment, whilst voting is going on I respectfully decline to confirm the names of such candidates.
ZEC Acting Chief Elections Officer, Utoile Silaigwana last night said,
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has noted with concern the violation of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] by one of the candidates contesting in the 2018 Harmonised Elections. Clause 7 (1)(b) of the Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates and other stakeholders provides as follows: (1) No political party or candidate may, from midnight 24 hours before polling day in any election or referendum until polling stations are closed on that day publish, or cause or permit the publication, of any advertisement or statement promoting or opposing a particular party or candidate. It has come to the knowledge of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that one of the Presidential candidates today, the 29th of July 2018 held a press conference at Meikles Hotel, in direct contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act Fourth Schedule (Section 160A, Clause 7(1)(B). This matter has been reported to the police for investigation on possible infraction of the electoral law.