Africa 22.8.2018 09:49 pm

Zim ConCourt reserves judgment in election result challenge

Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Picture: Shepard Tozvireva/African News Agency (ANA)

Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Picture: Shepard Tozvireva/African News Agency (ANA)

The nine-member bench led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba announced that judgment would be handed down on Friday at 2pm.

The Zimbabwean Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Wednesday evening reserved judgment in a case in which the main opposition party is challenging the results of the presidential elections held on July 30.

The nine-member bench led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba announced at the end of the hearing that judgment would be handed down on 24 August at 2pm.

MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, through his lawyers led by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, petitioned the ConCourt seeking an order to overturn the results of the elections and that he be declared the winner.

He accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of irregularly declaring the incumbent, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the winner of Zimbabwe’s first polls without former president Robert Mugabe.

Mpofu argued in court that ZEC was inefficient and incompetent, as shown by the way in which they were changing the official results.

ZEC has revised its presidential figures twice since declaring Mnangagwa the winner.

On August 2, ZEC announced that Mnangagwa had garnered 50.8 percent of the total vote, with Chamisa taking 44.3 percent.

Zec revised Mnangagwa’s win margin to 50.67 percent and 50.6 percent respectively, as the electoral management body sought to clarify the mathematical inconsistencies in their results.

“If a declaration is premised on false numbers, that declaration cannot stand,” Mpofu argued.

Malaba took Mpofu to task for relying on secondary data and said he was using rather speculative evidence, but Mpofu said his client could not use the very data which gives rise to the dispute before the court.

Mpofu also alleged that there were inconsistencies which ZEC had failed to explain, saying that 16 polling stations had similar figures for Chamisa and Mnangagwa, even for spoilt ballots.

ZEC, in its defence, said the opposition politician did not follow the rules of the court and, as such, the application was improper before the court.

ZEC lawyer Tawanda Kanengoni maintained that his client made the correct declaration and Mnangagwa remained the winner of the July 30 polls.

“The relief sought by the applicant that he be declared winner cannot be granted as is it not supported by evidence,” he said.

Mnangagwa’s lawyers also prayed that the court dismisses the application by the opposition leader, saying his case lacked merit.

“The applicant is merely making bold allegations and that does not threaten the credibility of the election,” Advocate Lewis Uriri argued for Mnangagwa.

African News Agency (ANA)

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