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Show us the figures

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It’s 47 hours after polling closed in Zimbabwe’s 29 March Harmonised Election, and the phrase on everybody’s lips is: Where are the results?

Of course, the longer it takes them to announce, the more suspicious we’re all getting. But whilst it’s 47 hours of suspense, it’s also 47 hours which the MDC has had to compile its own independent tally of results. The MDC has declared victory, but where is its substantiation of this claim? Election results have been posted outside polling stations and Constituency counting centres around the country, so it’s possible to add them up for yourself, if you have the capacity to track them all down, and the patience to add them all up. This is what, it would seem, the Independent Results Centre has been doing. But scratch the surface of their website, and there is a national percentage tally, but no constituency level results to compare with the 39 constituencies for which results have been announced.

In Harare at least, this would be entirely possible – reveal the figures for Harare’s polling stations. One Kubatana subscriber suggested that maybe the MDC was reluctant to pre-empt the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s results, because they government has been very clear that it would view such an act as verging on coup potential.

But at the very least, the MDC should be comparing the ZEC’s announcements with what it has. Not to sound trite about what is, clearly, a massive undertaking. But the ZEC announced the first 6 results at 7 this morning – 11 hours ago. They announced another 12 at noon – 6 hours ago. Where is the MDC’s confirmation – or disputing – of these initial results? Even if their figures tally exactly with ZEC’s the MDC should announce this – doing so would lend credibility down the track if they do want to dispute other constituencies. Surely it’s not illegal to share your take on what the ZEC has announced?

Moreover, if we’re serious about freeing Zimbabwe from dictatorship, some defiance of unjust – or specious – laws is in order? But the Elections Results link on the MDC website still reads “coming soon.”

In some ways, the MDC could use the ZEC’s delay to their advantage – and contest results in areas where they’ve tallied the votes independently. But if they don’t take advantage of this window, it will get slammed shut on their fingers. In a country where mass media is state controlled, how is the MDC letting Zimbabweans know what it makes of ZEC’s results – and what it plans on doing about it?

6 comments to “Show us the figures”

  1. Comment by BM:

    I agree totally. Are any of you in Harare able to see/speak to Tendai Biti or someone? Also where is ZESN? ZESN could publish a list of the polling station results… they’re not a party so can’t be accused of a coup? I’m a bit suspicious of that ‘Independent election results’ site … very odd no-one is putting up the Byo polling figures which seem clear. What do Dave Coltart et al say about the polling station figures from Byo? Can they post them?

  2. Comment by BM:

    To complain about the unacceptable delay in announcing the results: Email the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) at zecpr@gta.gov.zw or phone them on +263 4 781 903.

  3. Comment by Freedom:

    Amanda. The Independent Results Election Centre has constituency level results. You can click on any of the provinces at the near bottom of the page. They are quite impressive comparing with ZEC. These guys are doing a fantastic job. If only they could finish up the remaining constituencies.

  4. Comment by Ernie Walt:

    Agree with you TOTALLY. Now is the time, a unique window which will pass.
    Stand up! Act and be counted now. For the sake of your children…

  5. Comment by pathias:

    for the sake of every Zimbawean we all need Mugabe out.whether you are a MDC or ZANU PF supporter . some of us are not in the country but once Mugabe is out we’re surely comingback to our country. AND I SAY MUGABE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Comment by Kubatana.net speaks out from Zimbabwe » Blog Archive » We can’t defend what we don’t know:

    [...] Comrade Fatso says we can’t defend what we don’t know. In Amanda’s recent blog, Show us the figures, she argues that as soon as ZEC announces results, the MDC should be using all of its capacity and machinery to share their own comparative results, highlight discrepancies and make sure that their supporters are aware of the electoral fraud. Whilst it is important that this comparison is being done by initiatives like the Independent Results Centre, freedom is not won on the Internet. It is won by making sure people on the street are kept informed and inspired. Victory celebrations, confusion, uncertainty. That’s the air that Harare’s breathing today. ‘Zvinhu hazvina kumira bho’ says a well known forex dealer to me. ‘No, its looking good actually,’ I tell him. ‘MDC is beating ZANU by far at the moment.’ Jealous, a quiet waiter, serving me coffee comments ‘So its bad heh?!’ ‘No, they’re winning actually, Jealous,’ I have to affirm. ‘Tsvangirai is ahead in the presidential elections’. The MDC is holding press conference after press conference while many people are holding zvakapressa conferences. Many think things have gone terribly wrong in the elections because the message from the MDC hasn’t filtered to them. And the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is announcing results at the pace of a wheelchair-less cripple making their way down a power-cut Parirenyatwa corridor. [...]