Zimbabwe Opposition Says Presidential Poll Was Rigged

Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has rejected official results showing he lost Monday's presidential election to incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chamisa said Friday he would pursue all available routes, including protests, to reclaim what he called the "stolen vote."

Chamisa told reporters results from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission giving President Emmerson Mnangagwa 50.8 percent of the vote were "fiction." He said he won 56 percent of the vote in Monday's poll.

"We want proper result to be announced," he added. "We will pursue all means necessary � legal and constitutional � to make sure that we protect the people's vote. The people have voted, they have cheated. We will not allow it. Mr. Mnangagwa sir, respect the people. Do not usurp power."

Chamisa, who heads the MDC Alliance party, accused the electoral commission of rigging the vote for the ZANU-PF party. He said the final vote tallies given to Mnangagwa in some areas were higher than the commission announced after polls closed Monday.

In a telephone interview with VOA, Electoral Commission spokesman Qhubani Moyo said the election is now a "closed chapter" for the ZEC. He said "we are not going to comment on what they are saying unless we are in court."

Tonderai Bosha, a ZANU-PF youth spokesman, dismissed claims by Chamisa that the election had been stolen.

"That has been the narrative during the campaigns, before the elections," he said. "They said ZANU-PF is going to rig, then they said they have got mechanisms on the ground to stop the rigging. They are saying a lot of things in regards to this election. What they only wanted was victory on their side. If it's victory on ZANU-PF side; it's not victory. That's the problem."

Chamisa's news conference Friday took place only when journalists regrouped after police tried to disperse them. The opposition leader said police intervention was not necessary if ZANU-PF has nothing to hide.

Source: Voice of America