Malawi politicians say they have learnt a lot from the Zimbabwe poll, saying there was need to accept results to avoid violence and need to release election results as soon as they have been sent from tally centres as Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been officially declared winner of the of this week’s presidential election.
At least six people were killed by soldiers in a day of violence after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission delayed in announcing the winner of this week’s presidential election.
On Thursday evening, Zimbabwe’s embattled electoral commission announced that Mnangagwa of Zanu-PF received 2.46m votes or 50.8% of the 4.8m votes cast.
Nelson Chamisa, the candidate of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), won 2.14m votes and 44.3% of the overall, the ZEC said.
The President said he was “humbled “ on Twitter, and called the results “ a new beginning”.
The opposition party has rejected the presidential result because it was not able to verify the results, as Chamisa, 40, claimed he had won the “popular vote” and accused Zanu-PF, the ruling party, of electoral malfeasance.
Zimbabwe now faces new uncertainty and probably instability.
But Malawian political commentator Augustine Magolowondo said there was need for politicians to prepare for defeat and accept the defeat results after an election.
“It is the politicians who incited the violence. The opposition claimed victory even before the results were out, this incited the people, the supporters of the MDC,” said Magolowondo.
Ernest Thindwa, another political scientist from Chancellor College said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was to blame for the violence, saying the delay in announcing the presidential results raised suspicion of rigging and vote doctoring.
“There is need for the elections to be seen as credible, free and fair,” said Thindwa.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Maurice Munthali said the lesson the main opposition party in the country has learnt is that there was need to draw the agenda from the people themselves.
“Parties should make research to find out what the people want. Unless you research well, you will discover that people are not with you on the polling day,” he said.
He said political party leadership should also accept defeat.
Joseph Chidanti Malunga, the spokesperson for the newly launched United Transformation Movement (UTM) said acceptance of poll results is crucial to avert violence.
“Let people speak their mind through the ballot box, all losing parties should therefore accept defeat,” he said.
Malawi goes to the polls in 2019 but the political landscape is already heated up with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) facing stiff competition from UTM as Malawi Congress Party, the United Democratic Front and Peoples Party have been pushed to the political sidelines.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :