It’s now a chorus from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that the populace should be aware of the elections calendar which stipulates that the presidential results will be announced within 5 days of the polls.
The Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] stipulates that results of the presidential election shall be announced not later than five days after polling day or last polling day. The stipulation applies to both the presidential election or runoff presidential election.
The result is announced by the ZEC Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson or Commissioner mandated to do so by the commission Chairperson.
“110 (h) a declaration by the Chairperson of the Commission (or, in his or her absence, the Deputy Chair-
person or, in his or her absence, a Commissioner designated by the Chairperson) under para-
graph (f) or (g)(iii) shall be made not later than—
(i) five days after the polling day or last polling day, as the case may be, in the presidential
election or runoff presidential election concerned; or
(ii) where a recount has been ordered in terms of section 67A, five days after the completion
of the recount:
Provided that the Electoral Court may, on application by the Commission, for good cause
extend the period”, read the Act
Learning from the communication from ZEC the populace must be patient, and remain peaceful in unity and Christians are encouraged to be on their knees as leaders are appointed by the Almighty God.
No other body or political party is mandated to announce the results save for ZEC.
Section 66A of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] prohibits the populace from announcing results of an election and stipulates penalties for offenders.
“66A Unofficial or false declaration of results prohibited
(1) Subject to subsection (3), any person who—
(a) purports to announce the result of an election as the true or official results; or
(b) purports to declare any candidate to have been duly elected;
before an electoral officer, acting in accordance with this Act, has announced the result of that election or declared a candidate to have been duly elected in that election, as the case may be, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment”, reads the Electoral Act.
As the nation go to the polls, we urge the citizens to abide by the country’s laws. Acting outside the laws has its consequences including imprisonment.
We urge political parties to continue preaching and practicing peace before and after the elections. We envisage an election where losers embrace the winners and work together for the betterment prosperity of the country.
We say no to demonstrations as they are retrogressive. There is always next time if you lose in this election.
Voters must abide by, not go into the streets demonstrating to show the world that something is amiss while you are not versed with the constitution and ZEC electoral guidelines.