This is a question that Movement for Dem0ocratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and most of his supporters have refused to face or accept all along. But they will have to face the reality this afternoon.
Chamisa’s main rival Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front covered his back before the elections when he said he would accept the election results if he lost. Whether he meant it or not, is now anyone’s guess. He won, and it is that victory that is being challenged.
If Chamisa loses the case, he will have to do what he has been urging his counterpart to do, concede defeat and allow the country to move forward.
As people have often said, in any contest there has to be a winner and a loser.
Chamisa was right during his election campaign to insist that he was winning, and had won, because there is no point in anyone entering a contest if they know they are going to lose. He was even right, during the campaign to tell his supporters that if he lost, the elections were rigged.
He was right to insist that he won after the results were announced. He was right to challenge the results. Now it is time to accept the verdict.
Rigging has become the theme song of the MDC since it was formed in 1999. It claimed the 2000 parliamentary elections were rigged, the 2002 presidential elections were rigged, the 2005 parliamentary elections were rigged, the 2008 harmonised elections were stolen and so were the 2013 harmonised elections.
Indeed, they could have been rigged. It’s all part of the political game.
But after seeing five elections rigged, the MDC should have ensured that ZANU-PF did not rig the 2018 elections. Chamisa was advised what to do, before the elections, but did not want to listen.
Setting up the anti-rigging machinery would probably have been much cheaper than hiring five South African lawyers- yes five not the three whose names were mentioned- as well as a plethora of local lawyers.
It is obvious that they were not acting pro-bono, and they were staying at the country’s most expensive hotel.
The only outside person Chamisa would probably have needed was Kenyan Dr Otumba Edgar Ouko. He needed a statistician or statisticians on the ground on election day to help tabulate and compile all results published and posted at the polling stations to challenge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results, polling station by polling station.
The data was going to be quite cheap according to MDC chair Morgen Komichi who stated that they needed 55 000 polling agents at $5 each making a total of $275 000. This would have ensured that the MDC had 5 polling agents at every polling station.
Surely ZANU-PF would not have been able to rig, if it did, the elections with such a huge number of polling agents from the MDC.
Perhaps this is what the party should concentrate on if the elections are invalidated as they have to be held in 60 days.
If the MDC loses, it should allow the country to move on.