Chief Justice Malaba, ConCourt expose MDC's amateur politics

Zimbabwe election appeal
Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court declares Mnangagwa as duly elected president
Author

26 August, 2018

"Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is duly elected President of Zimbabwe", said the Chief Justice.

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday welcomed a court ruling endorsing his election victory after judges threw out an opposition bid to overturn the results over alleged ballot fraud.

While handing down the outcome of the MDC Alliance's challenge of Zimbabwe's presidential results, chief justice Luke Malaba reiterated the court can only make a ruling based on factual evidence.

Mnangagwa won the election on July 30 by 50,8%; although the electoral body the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) later revised it to 50,67% citing mathematical errors.

Mnangagwa, of the ruling ZANU-PF party, won the election with 50.8 percent of the vote - just enough to meet the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3 percent.

An hour before the ruling, Chamisa's spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda suggested there was collusion between Zanu PF and the judiciary, as images on social media indicated that preparations for Mnangagwa's inauguration were well under way long before the ruling.

In a unanimous judgement, the nine judges ruled against the opposition's petition because they said it did not include sufficient evidence.

The elections were largely judged to be free of the violence which characterised previous elections in Zimbabwe.

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Chamisa's comments will do little to ease tension in a country that has been caught up in disputed polls since the MDC contested its first election in 2000.

In a statement released last night, the Department of International Relations said all those involved in the court case, particularly applicants and the respondents, should accept the decision of the court.

"Our unstinting belief in the rule of law means we shall not only respect the verdict of the bench but we shall also doggedly pursue all constitutionally permissible avenues to ensure that the sovereign will of the people is protected and guaranteed".

The legal challenge delayed Mnangagwa's planned inauguration for August 12. The people who voted do not believe in (Mnangagwa). It will now take place on Sunday.

After Mugabe's ouster, his ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, retained power and Mnangagwa slid into Mugabe's seat.

The court's ruling can not be appealed.

NPR's Eyder Peralta explained the pillars of the opposition's argument laid out in the legal challenge, filed a week after results were announced: "The presidential vote and parliamentary votes were off by tens of thousands; more than a dozen polling stations presented identical results and the electoral commission changed the results three times".


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