Zimbabwe opposition mounts legal challenge against election result

Prof Michelo Hansangule

Prof Michelo Hansangule

Emmerson Mnangagwa's inauguration as Zimbabwe's president, scheduled for tomorrow, remains postponed pending a court ruling on the election results.

The day before the protests - and before the final presidential results were announced - Biti held a press conference at the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) headquarters in Harare, claiming victory for the party. Elections are not won in court, they are won in the field.

Essentially what this means is that the nation will be in some of inertia for at most the next two weeks, given that the Constitution allows the court a maximum of 14 days within which it can deal with the matter.

Former minister of education David Coltart added his voice to confirm the filing of the court papers to challenge the presidential results and some constituencies.

The US law says that in order for sanctions to end the election has to be "widely accepted as free and fair".

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Despite the contentious election result, the state-owned Herald newspaper has reported that President-elect Emmerson Mnangwagwa will be inaugurated on Sunday, 12 August.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says he has evidence to show that he was cheated out of the 30 July presidential vote.

"We are seeking a declaration to the effect that the presidential election was not properly conducted".

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

He said they had a "secret weapon" to unleash through their petition should things go a different direction.

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"We have managed to place before the court all the mathematical and statistical irregularities".

Zimbabwe's constitution allows a presidential candidate to legally challenge electoral results within seven days of a victor being declared.

At least six people were killed in violence that erupted after the vote as security forces clashed with and MDC supporters who alleged that Mr Chamisa had been robbed of victory.

Prosecutors accuse him of fuelling illegal protests by rejecting Mr Mnangagwa's victory in the fiercely contested elections. "It is now being served on the 23 Respondents (all the other contestants and ZEC) Copies of the petition will be posted once scanned".

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