by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE ruling Zimbabwe African National Union –Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has submitted opposition papers to the Constitutional Court to dismiss a petition by the Movement for Democratic (MDC-Alliance) challenging the outcome of the recent presidential election.
ZANU PF, which submitted opposing papers on Monday, hired a strong team of 12 local lawyers spearheaded by Advocates Lewis Uriri and Thembinkosi Magwaliba to defend president-elect, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose victory MDC-Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa is disputing.
Mnangagwa polled 50,8 percent of the vote to Chamisa’s 44,3 percent.
Chamisa’s legal team, led by Chris Mhike and Advocate Thabani Mpofu, filed its papers on Friday.
In the ConCourt case (No CCZ 42/2018), the MDC-Alliance is claiming the elections were rigged. Instead, the MDC-Alliance wants Chamisa to be declared the new president of Zimbabwe.
MDC Alliance alleges the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was failing to account for 700 000 votes cast in the July 30 polls.
However, ZANU-PF argues the MDC-Alliance cannot prove to the ConCourt the presidential election was wrong as the opposition did not make use of a provision in the Electoral Act that calls for recounting of votes within 48 hours if suspected rigging occurred.
In a litany of allegations by MDC-Alliance, the opposition claims the election results were not credible, let alone free and fair arguing ZEC chairperson Justice Pricillah Chigumba delegated the announcement of provincial presidential results to fellow commissioners in violation of the constitution.
Other claims of vote rigging are that thousands of registered voters sympathetic to Chamisa, mainly more than 40 000 teachers in the countryside seconded to the ZEC as polling officers, were disenfranchised and systematically denied their voting right while 21 polling stations went “missing” on polling day.
Chamisa further accused ZEC of deliberately deploying teachers and other civil servants to polling stations far from areas they were registered to vote.
“I have established that some 40 000 teachers did not vote. A lot more other civil servants who were involved in the elections were similarly disenfranchised,” Chamisa alleges in the ConCourt papers seen by CAJ News.
The impasse over the vote outcome led to the postponement of the presidential inauguration, set for this past weekend.
– CAJ News