Alex Tawanda Magaisa, a Law lecturer in the United Kingdom has said the 2018 election dispute between MDC Alliance’s Gift Konjana and ZANU PF’s Dexter Nduna shows the shortcomings of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Nduna lost the Chegutu West Parliamentary election to Konjana but ZEC announced him the winner. Nduna’s victory was challenged and ZEC admitted to making an error, but, Nduna is still the MP and is set to finish the term. Pindula News presents Magaisa’s submission on the matter.
Konjana v Nduna: defiling the will of the people
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1. This is the affidavit of Godfrey Maisiri, @ZECzim’s District Elections Officer for Chegutu. He explains how Dexter Nduna benefited from an “error” in the collation of results at the constituency office when votes for Gift Konjana were exchanged with another candidate’s votes.
2. Konjana’s 121 votes at Proposed Primary School polling station were given to Simon Kache who had received just one vote. This “error” led to Konjana losing to Nduna. Despite this admission under oath, @ZECzim failed to correct the “error”.
3. Despite this glaring irregularity, ZEC failed and/or neglected to correct it. It was left to the winner to go through the legal jungle to fix it. Incredibly, despite the plain injustice, the judicial process has failed to give effect to the will of the people.
4. I have seen some people say Konjana deserves it because he later deserted the MDC Alliance for Mwonzora’s outfit. This is short-sighted. The case demonstrates the shortcomings of our institutions: ZEC, the judiciary & the Electoral Law. It’s not just Konjana’s problem.
5. The precedent set is dangerous: it means ZEC can make an error, declare a winner, admit to the error & sit back while the winner is thrown from pillar to post in the judicial process.That’s why anyone with an interest in democracy & elections should be concerned.
6. The bizarreness of this case is truly staggering and hard to fathom. It sounds like a work of fiction. But hey, this is Zimbabwe, where losers win elections and judges say it’s absolutely fine, we can’t be bothered. I understand why some feel utterly despondent about the elections process.
What’s the point, they ask, when the loser is declared the winner of an election and the entire system, including the courts, does nothing to fix it?
I do not believe that ZEC is fit for purpose. In other countries, heads would have rolled after such a calamity. The court itself does not even take a moment to rebuke ZEC for its failings and the negative effect it has on the integrity of elections.
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