UPDATED: People warned against announcing election results on social media

Justice Chigumba addresses the media. Picture by Shelton Muchena

Justice Chigumba addresses the media. Picture by Shelton Muchena

Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Election Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has warned people against announcing results on social media, saying any announcements made by undesignated persons are illegal.

Justice Chigumba said misleading the public about elections results causes unnecessary tensions.

“Announcing of results to friends on WhatsApp or any other social media platform is an offence as it goes against our Constitution. There have been speculation on social media about elections results,” said Justice Chigumba.

“Stakeholders are reminded that it is unlawful to announce results because it is a direct contravention of Section 66A (a) of the Electoral Act. The announcement of official results by undesignated persons has the potential of misleading the public and raise unnecessary political emotions.”

Addressing journalists at a press conference in Harare yesterday, Justice Chigumba said she was clear and confident that there was no rigging in the election.

She said in terms of the law, presidential election results must be announced within five days, which will be on Saturday August 4.

“We are absolutely confident that there was no cheating and we are absolutely confident that there was no rigging and we would like to show the Zimbabwean people that we as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will not steal their choice of leaders and will not subvert their will. Whatever it is that comes out in our results is exactly what they have decided in polls,” Justice Chigumba said.

The Zec chairperson said she was happy that most provinces had almost completed the counting and compilation of results.

“We ask you to be patient as after counting comes the verification so we ask you to be a bit patient but we anticipate that we will be able to announce before the maximum period which takes us to the 4th of August,” said Justice Chigumba.

Zec Commissioner Dr Qhubani Moyo said voter turnout was good across the country, with some places in the Midlands Province recording up to 99 percent voter turnout. — @andile_tshuma