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Here are 5 similarities between Zimbabwean and Kenyan elections

Kenyans may not have to strain to spot similarities in the challenges facing the polling exercise in Zimbabwe with the ones witnessed in Kenya in 2017.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling party ZANU-PF and 40-year old Nelson Chamisa are considered front-runners in the race to become the Southern African country’s next President.

But then the process to officially replace Robert Mugabe has been far from smooth.

Nairobi News looks at some of the similarities between Kenya’s 2017 elections and the 2018 Zimbabwe polls.

1.  Chamisa declares himself ‘winner’ – In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, the opposition MDC Alliance claimed Chamisa had won the election. Never mind the fact that constitutionally it is the mandate of the Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (Zec) to announce the winning candidate.

Kenyans will recall how the main opposition coalition NASA, through its chief campaigner Musalia Mudavadi invited the media only to declare its candidate Raila Odinga the ‘winner’ of last year’s divisive elections.

2. Opposition alleges ‘rigging’ – Speaking at a press briefing in Harare, the MDC Alliance’s Tendai Biti claimed there was a clear attempt by the ruling Zanu-PF to interfere ‘with the people’s will’. Chamisa also took to social media and claimed the same.

In Kenya, Raila Odinga and the opposition continuously claimed that the August 8, 2017 elections had been ‘stolen’, and even successfully challenged the results in court.

3. Opposition demand to scrutinize Zimbabwean version of ‘Form 34A’ – MDC-Alliance official Tendai Biti has demanded the electoral body produce V11 forms. The V11 form summarises everything that would have taken place at a polling station. “As we speak, it has been discovered that ZEC did not post V11 forms at 21 percent of the polling stations and we are greatly concerned by their failure to do so,” he said.

Kenyans will remember how NASA demanded scrutiny of the form 34As. This demand extended to another demand to open the IEBC servers.

4. Strongholds, Fake news and propaganda – Both the ruling ZANU-PF and opposition MDC Alliance are keen to earn a head start in this exercise even if it involves some untruths. The Citizen in South claims some photographs taken at polling station indicating large queues at ‘strongholds’ and circulated on social media are not accurate.

The same was witnessed in Kenya with UK based firm Cambridge Analytica admitting to using fake news to shape opinion.

5. Assassination claims – The opposition MDC Alliance claims Chamisa could be assassinated by government ‘forces’. Remember IEBC’s ICT director Chris Msando?