Chigumba says Chamisa got his maths wrong on the 700 000 unaccounted for votes


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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair Priscilla Chigumba says Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa got his mathematical calculations wrong when he claimed that over 700 000 votes could not be accounted for in the just ended elections.

Chamisa is challenging the 30 July presidential election results which the ZEC said were won by Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He has filed an application with the Constitutional Court asking the court to declare him the winner or call for fresh elections.

According to Newsday, Chigumba said in her affidavit opposing Chamisa’s application:

“… the 700 000 votes that the applicant alleges are unaccounted for are directly resultant upon the use of 72% as the final voter turnout in the presidential election and not the correct 85,1%. Furthermore, the figure that the applicant comes up with, 4 032 000, as 72% of the total voter population includes, by necessary implication, every vote that would be cast in a presidential poll including votes that would, on the count, be deemed to be invalid for one reason or another. The figures he indicates as the total votes cast from the announced results, 4 775 640, and from the data on the electoral commission’s CD, 4 774 878, both reflect the total valid votes cast in terms of the announcements and the data on the CD…

“The 4 032 000 on the one hand and the 4 775 640 and 4 774 878 on the other are thus totals representing two different kinds of things the former including every valid and invalid vote and the latter only the valid votes. The applicant then proceeds to subtract, in turn, the two elements of the latter category of votes from the former category of votes thus yielding in each instance the 700 000 alleged unaccounted votes without taking account, in that computation, of the difference between the two things he has subtracted from each other.”

Chamisa’s petition seems to be full of mistakes. Itayi Garande who says he is a lawyer based in the United Kingdom, says out of the 25 respondents named by Chamisa, only seven have their names correctly cited.

Even the first respondent, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name is misspelt in some of the attached documents.

While people might see this as a minor typing error, Garande argues: “While sometimes this is not enough to get the petition dismissed, when you get the name of a respondent completely wrong legally, for example ‘William Mugadza’, you cannot expect the court to infer that this is Dr Willard Mugadza of the Bethel Christian Party.”

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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