The government has warned that anyone who provokes the law risks being sent to jail.
Addressing the media in Harare this evening, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Dr Obert Mpofu said no one is above the law and the police and other security institutions will remain on high alert to monitor the situation.
The Minister reminded Zimbabweans that it is illegal for anyone to declare election results, which is a prerogative of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
“According to section 66A of the Electoral Act, chapter 2:13, anyone who unofficially or falsely declares poll results contravenes the Electoral Act and shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both the fine and imprisonment,” he said, adding that the prerogative of officially announcing results lies with ZEC.
Dr Mpofu said the government has however noted with concern actions of some political party leaders, civic organizations, individuals and other groups who are declaring that they will announce the results irrespective of provisions of the law.
“The government is equally perturbed by the level of incitement to violence being perpetrated by some individuals and some political party leaders who have declared themselves winners before the announcement of the results. The same political party leaders have gone further to insinuate that they already have the results of the election and will not accept anything to the contrary. Such mischievous actions have the capacity to cause alarm and despondency in our beloved country and leaves the police with no option but to investigate and arrest if there is any breach of law,” he said.
“Let me also warn such individuals and groups that no one is above the law, the law enforcement agency will arrest anyone found on the wrong side of the law without fear or favour irrespective of your political stature, gender, colour or creed in society,” he added.
Dr Mpofu applauded Zimbabweans for exercising their right to vote in yesterday’s harmonised elections peacefully and appealed for them to accept the official results.