Zimbabwe opposition file presidential poll challenge

Tendai Biti

Tendai Biti

"All proceedings are suspended pending the determination of the Constitutional Court".

At the same time, Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said President Emmerson Mnangagwa's inauguration that had been set for Sunday had been deferred after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa challenged presidential election results in court.

In the country's first elections since Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule came to an end, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) confirmed last week that the ruling Zanu-PF had picked up 50.8% of the votes that were cast, declaring Emmerson Mnangagwa the country's newly-elected president.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa addresses a media conference following the announcement of election results in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 3, 2018.

"The respondents have three days to respond to the court petition and the matter must be heard and be determined within 14 days from the day of petitioning, according to the Constitution".

Mnangagwa was suppose to be sworn-in on Sunday. "We have a good case and cause".

Chamisa has claimed he won 56 percent of votes and called the election "fraudulent, illegal and illegitimate".

The MDC must prove that any irregularities were grave enough to change the outcome of the vote.

Judges have 14 days to rule on the case, and could declare a victor, call another election, or order a run-off or recount, according to the Veritas legal group.

"We've managed to place before the court forms that show the (results) figures were erased", Chamisa's Thanbani Mpofu said.

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.

Zanu-PF secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa earlier in the week revealed that the party has assembled a 12-man legal team to respond to the challenge.

But the MDC say the security forces have launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition following the disputed poll.

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