By Felix Matasva, Manicaland Correspondent
EXILED former cabinet minister and Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo triggered a fierce debate after he tweeted NewZimbabwe.com’s story exposing how the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) dismantled a polling station on the eve of the March 26 by-election in Mutasa South National Assembly constituency.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate, Regai Tsunga was narrowly beaten by Zanu PF candidate Misheck Mugadza after garnering 5 269 votes against his major opponent 5 818.
Allegations of a dismantled polling station in Florida middle density suburb of Mutare raised fears that it might have influenced the result.
Well-placed official sources who presided over the elections recently told NewZimbabwe.com that the removal of a polling station deprived several people from voting within an urban ward, which was one of Tsunga’s strongholds.
Sharing a screenshot of NewZimbabwe.com’s story on his twitter account, Moyo questioned ZEC spokesperson Jasper Mangwana if the allegations were true.
“Mr @mangwana_jasper is this true? If it is, @ZECzim destroyed a voters roll just before voting!” Moyo tweeted.
In response, Mangwana sais: “Prof, if these allegations have basis the concerned must challenge the Commission in the Electoral Court.”
“That’s a fair response Mr @mangwana_jasper. Good day!” Moyo returned.
But the debate did not end there as other Twitter users joined.
“But @CCC, why is the caretaker leadership mum about this? Was/is there any action taken? Sometimes the quietness of those who matters in CCC is frustrating. I thought post-mortem of the elections feedback was imperative or just saying something to citizens especially rigging claims,” one user querried.
Another person added @Tapsylunga said: “CCC leadership is just enjoying being the strongest opposition right now heads should be rolling rather than waiting to say we have been rigged. Zanu PF just ignored them winning because they wanted to legitimise ZEC on the basis when they challenge the presidential outcome they (ZANU) would claim by-elections were fair.”
Another person confirmed using a twitter account, @ChitembweShupi, that her two sisters could not vote at Florida polling station since it had been removed from the system.
Many argued that the call by ZEC for those with allegations to seek for a recourse in the courts of law will not work since the justice sector in the country is captured.
“You seem to be basing all arguments to end in courts where you seem to know the outcome. Why can’t ZEC do us right as Zimbabweans by serving their mandate without fear or favour i.e the voters roll was made available to Zanu PF on 23 Jan by ZEC, what’s your response to this,” another person called Tumirai Shoko Mutape wrote on Moyo’s the twitter thread.
Using a user account called @terrymadzeka, another person replied saying, “Electoral court failed to finalise Nduna’s electoral theft. He is still in the house boasting as if he is the legitimate winner, the issue went to constitutional court and was dismissed on dubious excuses. Saka electoral court is your favourite playground, ZEC must be disbanded.”
Another user dubbed Kudakwashe Kazingizi @Zidyavanhumugomo tweeted: “You know very well the courts are captured and they will always rule in your favour @mangwana_jasper, your insistence on court challenge is for your actions to be sanitised by the captured judiciary.”
Moyo later on re-joined the conversation, tweeting: “This is now becoming redundant and delinquent, if you raise a legal matter; where do you want it resolved if not in court? If there is an alternative, then by all means please go there!”