Julius Malema

LEADER of South African opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Mr Julius Malema, yesterday told MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa to accept defeat by President Mnangagwa in harmonised elections held on Monday, as the electoral playing field was level.

In an interview with journalists in South Africa, Mr Malema said Mr Chamisa must focus on the next elections set for 2023.

He congratulated President Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe for holding a peaceful election witnessed by both local and foreign observers.

“We congratulate President Mnangagwa and we want to congratulate Zimbabweans for having conducted a peaceful election,” said Mr Malema. “It was highly contested, a lot of interests were there, but eventually Zimbabweans have spoken and all of us must respect the voice of the people of Zimbabwe.

“We might have had different interests, but once elections are declared particularly in a process where international observers were given 100 percent access to voting, 100 percent access to counting, anyone who alleges rigging must bring V11 forms and prove station by station on how elections were stolen.

“In the absence of evidence, any rhetoric that suggests there was rigging is actually putting the lives of Zimbabweans in danger.”

Mr Malema warned against causing unnecessary tensions in Zimbabwe.

“Let us learn from the previous tensions which existed in that country,” he said. “We do not want a repeat and we call upon our brother Nelson Chamisa to accept the result.”

Mr Malema said as the opposition in South Africa, they had wanted a Chamisa win as it would have inspired them.

“I would have wanted Chamisa to win because here in South Africa we would be inspired ourselves in the opposition, but the brother put (up) a good fight, the brother fought. Remember Chamisa came in after the passing away of (MDC founding leader Morgan)Tsvangirai yet within a short space of time Chamisa put up a good fight.

“The brother must accept that he has done well. He has put Zanu-PF at 50,8 percent. No one has done that (before). That is a good fight.”

Yesterday, Mr Chamisa refused to concede defeat citing rigging, but provided no evidence to back his claims.

Before the elections, Mr Chamisa publicly vowed not to accept any election results he was not confirmed the winner by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

He vowed to make Zimbabwe ungovernable if ZEC declared President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF winners of the polls.

His supporters trooped into the Central Business District in Harare on Wednesday and unleashed an orgy of violence in which six people died and property worth thousands of dollars was de- stroyed.

Mr Chamisa later denied that the perpetrators of the violence, which began at his party headquarters, were his followers.