Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

MDC Alliance files court challenge to Mnangagwa's election win

MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa MDC Alliance files court challenge to Mnangagwa's election win
Melinda Barton | 11 August, 2018, 21:54

The filing of the petition also means Mnangagwa's inauguration, which had been scheduled for Sunday, will have to be cancelled until the court renders a decision on the matter. The opposition said the result was rigged.

The electoral commission declared the Zanu-PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa had 50.8% of votes against the MDC Alliance's Nelson Chamisa's 44.3%.

The Constitutional Court, which can declare a new victor or order a fresh election, must rule within 14 days of an election petition.

Chamisa's legal team arrived at the Constitutional Court at the eleventh hour with members of the media having been in wait for at least half a day.

"Mr Biti is in good condition and we will follow the case closely".

There was great optimism that the elections would bring real change after the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule in November.

Worldwide monitors largely praised the conduct of the election itself, although European Union observers said that Mnangagwa, a former long-time Mugabe ally, benefitted from an "un-level playing field" and some voter intimidation.

Earlier on Friday, opposition leader and former finance minister Tendai Biti appeared in court to challenge his arrest on Thursday on charges of public violence and illegally announcing election results.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that his country is open for business, but this new law - the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act - could scupper those plans as far as the United States is concerned.

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, it is reported.

The MDC reported that its foreign lawyers had initially been denied entry into the Constitutional Court on work permit grounds.

"In the alternative, we seek that there be another election which complies with the dictates of the law", Mpofu said.

On August 1, soldiers opened fire on MDC protesters, killing six people and sparking an global outcry.

Mr Biti is the first senior opposition politician to be detained since Mr Mnangagwa took over from Mr Mugabe.

Diplomats and election observers were present at the hearing in Harare after Biti fled to Zambia but was handed back to Zimbabwean police despite claiming asylum.