Zim court to rule on election petition Friday

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Charity Ruzvidzo

The Zimbabwe Constitutional Court is expected to give its ruling Friday on the application filed by the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who is seeking to overturn President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 harmonised elections.

Chamisa lost the polls after garnering 44,3 percent of the polls with President Mnangagwa romping to victory with 50,67 percent of the total votes cast.

A legal showdown was on show in the country’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday as Advocate Thabani Mpofu (the MDC Alliance lawyer) and Mnangagwa’s lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri submitted their head of arguments.

Adv Mpofu claimed that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission colluded with Mnangagwa to rig the election.

He said at least 40 000 were denied the right to vote by ZEC.

“Out of the 60 000 teachers who participated in the electoral process as polling officers, about 20 000 voted and ZEC could not file affidavits of all those who opted to forgo their right to vote.”

Adv Mpofu also said there were at least 16 polling stations with identical results, raising suspicions of rigging during the elections.

The Chief Justice Malaba, however, said the evidence provided by Adv Mpofu was based on mere generalities and speculations.

The Chief Justice requested Adv Mpofu to provide primary evidence instead of relying on secondary evidence.

Adv Mpofu argued that even without the primary evidence, there was a prima facie case evident of a crime committed and that using the "primary evidence" obtained through a recount was not helpful as ZEC had already tampered with the residue.

 

He said MDC Alliance lacked the required substantive evidence to validate their allegations.

But ZEC dismissed Chamisa’s allegations of rigging.

“There is no evidence that the said 40 000 were registered to vote,” Tawanda Kanengoni said, the lawyer representing ZEC.

He said even if they were registered to vote there was no guarantee they were going to vote for the MDC Alliance.

Kanengoni argued that the commission had not rigged the election as there was no evidence from the Alliance to prove the declared figures wrong.

After the preliminary arguments, the  court ruled against  other respondents, Elton Mangoma, Noah Manyika and Daniel Shumba, saying reasons  reasons will be given in the final judgement to be delivered Friday.

The court proceedings, which drew global interest,  were broadcast live on the country's national television station, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

 

 

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