Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa slams attempts to influence ZEC

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says no political party may instruct the Zimbabwean Electoral Council on how it carries out its mandate.

A poster of President Emmerson Mnangagwa outside Zimbabwe National Stadium. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/EWN.

HARARE/JOHANNESBURG - President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he’s noted attempts by the opposition to influence the business of the Zimbabwean Electoral Council (ZEC) ahead of the country’s national elections on Monday.

Speaking at the Zanu-PF’s final rally in Harare on Saturday, the president said the commission is an independent organisation whose mandate is to objectively observe the process.

“That’s an independent commission created by our constitution.”

Mnangagwa says no political party may instruct the ZEC on how it carries out its mandate.

He says the body’s composition is decided by Members of Parliament, including members of the opposition.

Mnangagwa appears to be referring to comments by Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, who accuses the ZEC of lacking transparency and has questioned the integrity of the ballot paper.

Chamisa has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, requesting him to call an extraordinary meeting of the SADC heads for their urgent intervention.

ELECTION DAY

Polls will open on Monday in the first election since Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule was ended by a military takeover nine months ago.

The vote will determine the future of the former British colony for decades.

The poll pits Mnangagwa, a stalwart of the ruling Zanu-PF party, against Chamisa, a 40-year-old lawyer and pastor.

The most recent published survey has put Mnangagwa, known as “the Crocodile”, three points ahead of Chamisa.

The opposition is confident of victory, with Chamisa telling supporters at a rally on Saturday that the stakes are high.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)