ZEC presses criminal charges against Chamisa, Mnangagwa?

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it has reported two presidential candidates of Monday’s election to police on claims they violated the Electoral Act which forbids any campaign activity 24 hours of the plebiscite.

Addressing the media Monday afternoon, Chigumba said the electoral body noted with concern, continued violation of the law by the candidates who were contesting the election.

“On 29 July 2018, at least two of the presidential candidates in statements which were published in the news media which might be interpreted as campaigning,” said Chigumba.

“These matters have been referred to the attention of the police for investigations as to whether or not the Electoral Act and or the electoral conduct may have been violated.

“All political parties and the candidates are reminded of the Code of Conduct for political parties which they all signed in its paragraph which says 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 convene or hold a public gathering of any kind and secondly publish or cause the publication of any advertisement statements promoting or opposing a particular party or candidate.”

She added, “ZEC would like to urge the parties and candidates to be exemplary and to comply with the provision of the law.”

Chigumba refused to name the two, arguing that they were doing that to maintain the peace that was prevailing in the country during Monday’s polling period.

But the state media reported that one of the candidates was MDC Alliance presidential aspirant, Nelson Chamisa.  

This follows Chamisa’s press conference on the same day.

Zanu PF presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa also posted a video on social media denouncing former President Robert Mugabe while urging voters to vote for him.

On what action ZEC was going to take, Chigumba said they will wait for the police to conclude their investigations and bring the evidence to them to take action. 

“Zimbabwe Electoral Commission does not have investigating powers; so traditionally, what we normally do is when complaints has been received with regards or whether or not Electoral Act and other regulations have been violated, we refer such complains to bodies that have the investigative powers such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police and or the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

“And it is only when we have been advised that sufficient evidence found in violation of the Electoral Act that we then contemplate what possible action to take as a commission,” she added.

Commenting on why she was avoiding mention the names of the two presidential candidates, Chigumba said she wants peace to prevail on the polling day.

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