Zim election dispute: Electoral commission trims Mnangagwa's lead

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has trimmed down the percentage of votes it awarded President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the alteration isn’t enough to overturn his victory in last month’s poll, it has emerged.

The amendment was revealed by ZEC chair Priscilla Chigumba in her response to a court challenge to Mnangagwa's victory by MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa.

Chigumba said there had been a “clerical error” that affected their original tally, reports the private Daily News

Extra votes for Chamisa

After the corrections were made Chamisa gained an extra 4 483 votes while Mnangagwa lost 4 453 votes “representing a change of 0,08% of the announced results” the Daily News quotes her as saying in court papers.

“The final computations do not alter significantly the announced 2018 presidential results,” she said.

According to a report by AP, the Constitutional Court is due to hear Chamisa’s challenge on Wednesday.

The miscalculation, albeit a slight one, will fuel criticism of ZEC, which was accused of bias and incompetence ahead of the July 30 poll.

Chamisa claims he got the most votes, but was cheated out of victory by ZEC. When the results were announced on August 3, Mnangagwa was declared the winner with 50.8% of the vote, compared to 44.3% for Chamisa.

Mnangagwa’s lead has now fallen to 50.6%. Chamisa’s only went up by a fraction to 44.39%, the Daily News said.

‘What’s today’s rate?’

News of the amended figures has spawned humorous comparisons with Zimbabwe’s unofficial three-tier exchange rate of real US dollars to electronic bank balances and bond notes.

Asked journalist Brezh Malaba on Twitter: “What's the official rate of Zimbabwe's presidential election result today? Has it gone below 50,6? And how does it compare with the other rates: Zec to Zanu-PF; Zec to MDC; Zec to Court?”

Another Zimbabwean, @KuleVeZaka tweeted a picture of Mnangagwa, also known by his initials ED, apparently doing sums at his desk with the comment: “50.8%...50.69%...50.57%...what is th ED rate today?”