Friday, 24 August 2018

ALL EYES ON CONCOURT AGAIN

THE Constitutional Court is today expected to deliver judgment on the election petition by MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa contesting President Mnangagwa’s victory in last month’s harmonised elections.

The high-profile petition is the first to be streamed live from the apex court in the history of the country. President Mnagagwa picked up 50,67 percent of the total votes cast followed by Mr Chamisa, who garnered 44,3 percent.

If the court endorses President Mnangagwa’s poll victory, he is expected to be inaugurated within 48 hours as postulated under the Electoral Act. The ruling of the court will be final and cannot be appealed.

A nine member judge’s bench of the apex court on Wednesday heard arguments by counsel for all the parties involved in case in which Mr Chamisa is seeking a determination of the petition in terms of the provisions of Section 93 (3) of the Constitution.

Through his lawyers led by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Mr Chamisa has asked the court to invalidate President Mnangagwa win on the basis of allegation of electoral fraud and malpractices. He is also seeking the court to declare him the winner, saying the poll was not conducted in accordance with the law and was not “free and fair”.

But President Mnangagwa, who is being represented by Adv Lewis Uriri argued that there was no valid election petition challenging his victory.

He wants the court to dismiss the petition and confirm him the winner of the presidential poll, saying a dismissal order was appropriate given the fact that the petition was replete with flagrant procedural irregularities.

President Mnangagwa said the application was not served with all documents that Mr Chamisa claimed to have filed.

He further argued that the intention by Mr Chamisa’s lawyers to issue a subpoena against Justice Chigumba shows the MDC Alliance leader accepted the inadequacies of his evidence.

In this regard, the President said the proper course of action that the court must adopt is to accept Mr Chamisa’s admission and throw out the application.

President Mnangagwa contends that Mr Chamisa’s petition is premised on alleged mathematical 
anomalies, which have no factual basis.

This averment was echoed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission lawyer Mr Tawanda Kanengoni.
In his submissions, Mr Kanengoni sought to debunk the statistical evidence alluded to by Mr Chamisa in his founding papers to prove there were no mathematical errors made by the electoral body sufficient to change the results of the presidential poll.

He pointed to the court that Mr Chamisa had no evidence to buttress his rigging claims, arguing the figures he sought to rely on in the application were just plucked from nowhere. Herald

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