Poll challenge scuttles Mugabe inauguration

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration following his disputed re-election in the just-ended harmonised polls has been stalled after Morgan Tsvangirai’s Friday Constitutional Court (Con-Court) petition seeking to nullify the result.

With Tsvangirai seeking to compel the country’s top court to order fresh elections within 60 days, Zanu PF’s plans for a mega inauguration have been put on hold, at least for now.

The new Constitution stipulates that in the event of an electoral petition being filed, the Constitutional Court has to settle the matter within 14 days and the president-elect should be sworn in within 48 hours of the ruling if the challenge is thrown out.

While Mugabe is anxious over his inauguration to restore legitimacy, the row over election results has obviously spoiled the party and delayed the event.

Observers say it will be extremely difficult for the MDC in spite of all the evidence available, to convince the courts that they have a case for electoral fraud given the polarisation of the country’s judiciary.

In an over 60-page application to the Con-Court, Tsvangirai is seeking  to compel the courts to order fresh elections, citing widespread vote manipulation and irregularities.

“The prayer that we seek is that this election be declared null and void. And also that a fresh election be called in 60 days,” said Tsvangirai in his application.

Tsvangirai claims he has oral and physical evidence to prove that the electorate was manipulated into voting for Mugabe.

“The grounds that we seek this nullification are 15 in number,” MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

“These include bribery by some of the contesting candidates. We saw doling out of the foodstuffs, kitchenware and so-on. That is not allowed in terms of our Constitution.”

The labour-backed party also argued that over half a million people were disenfranchised on voting day and 300 000 people were turned away.

Tsvangirai’s party also questions the suspiciously high number of assisted voters in a country with the highest literacy rate in Africa. He also cites intimidation and the failure by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to furnish candidates with the electronic version of the voters’ roll before polling day.

“We will be able to provide electronic evidence, and on the voters’ roll we have over 870 000 names duplicated, and in one instance, I think we have got the Tshuma family, the surname Tshuma is occupying 40 pages, and these people were all born on the same day,” Mwonzora said.

Zanu PF has welcomed the court challenge.

“What they are doing is a good thing, it’s a wise road to take,” said Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo.

Mugabe yesterday said his re-election was free and fair in an address to thousands of supporters celebrating the Heroes’ Day in the capital, Harare.

“Those who were hurt by defeat can go hang if they so wish,” Mugabe said.

“Never will we go back on our victory,” he said in his first public address since the July 31 vote.

Constitutional law expert and former Tsvangirai ally Lovemore Madhuku has said the former trade unionist’s chances of success in court were limited.

Madhuku said Tsvangirai’s chances “are non-existent, completely non-existent”.

“It’s not a margin that normally gets challenged in court,” said Madhuku.

Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC, said his party was aware that the just ended elections were neither fair nor free in the strictest definition of the terms and as such the outcome was not a legitimate one.

“That the elections were rigged is not debatable, it is a fact,” Ncube said.

“While all this glaring failure of the electoral process is real, the party having considered all available options has opted to refrain from taking the disputes to court. The futility of going to the courts must be read with the Jealousy Mbizvo Mawarire Constitutional Court ruling, which led to the frog marching of Zimbabweans into an election for which Zec were ill prepared to run. It is therefore our well-considered view that taking this matter to court will be akin to going to Robert Mugabe and asking him to reverse his ‘victory’.”

Comments (27)

If indeed we have duplicated names, with duplicated date of births, what about the ID numbers and the addresses? 42 pages with the same name, same date of birth, same ID number and same address will be a record error and not a sign of rigging. Work up you losers!!!!!!!!!

Mundamurefu - 13 August 2013

You seem to agree that the voters roll has "record errors" which implies its in shambles. Voters roll is an import aspect of an election and one has to be on the roll to vote. The mere fact that this roll was not right, points to gross irregularities in the process of preparing people to exercise their democratic right to choose. Worse still that only one party had leverage to both the registration process and the voters roll raises serious eyebrows.

Sandura - 13 August 2013

The voters roll is the bigger part of the contesting field, no?

gutter poet - 13 August 2013

Voters' roll was used to rig elections and this is a fact of facts!! Elections were rigged because a 61% win is cheating big time. ZANU PF exagerated their win of 61%. For ZANU PF leaders to go up and stand on the podium and say ," We won fairly ," boggles the mind because everybody in Zimbabwe knows that elections were rigged. For AU and SADC and other African leaders to congratulate the winner of rigged elections is indeed a dark and evil thing to do because we all know that elections were rigged by ZANU PF right in front of our eyes. In our dark continent of Africa, our African leaders practice dark deeds indeed, that of cheating and rigging elections and saying , "I have won elections," then some African leaders are full of praise of each other for the dark deeds that they also do in their countries. (Africa is a dark continent indeed , as seen from space at night, it is the darkest continent compared with other continents at night!) Our African leaders say to each other ,"See no evil, hear no evil and do no evil," but they do do evil, that of cheating and rigging of elections. Africa is indeed a dark continent full of African leaders who do dark deeds indeed !!!!

Poto Ye Black - 13 August 2013

SADC and AU have guidelines for holding free and fair election.They came to observe the electoral process in Zimbabwe and their guideline were not followed during their presence but they surprised everyone when they disregarded their own rules.Except for KHAMA they have all become DICTATORS.

chimwango - 13 August 2013

With all the overwhelming evidence presented, if the court throws it away, then the judges would have killed their careers in the legal field because they would have smeared an indelible stain on their CVs.. Let them act cautiously... Let reason rule. If they choose to be influenced, it's their decision. If they feel they cannot make an independent and fair judgement without risking their lives, let them resign and seek asylum in Botswana. Let the Judges of the Constitutional Court remember that they have a career to protect. #Wisdom whispers...#

NEUTRAL OBSERVER - 13 August 2013

@Neutral Observer , judges were given farms by Mugabe, and they will rule in favour of Mugabe. If they do not rule in favour of Mugabe, they will have their farms and jobs taken away from them. So the judges will definitely listen to their master's voice, lest they lose their jobs and farms and they will turn a blind eye and deaf ear to MDC- T's complaints, even if there is massive evidence of wrong doing by ZANU PF on vote rigging. So the judges will never, never, ever make a fair judgement whatsoever in their ruling, Mugabe will win.

Chief Cheater - 13 August 2013

@mundamurefu - kwana! why would a voters' roll contain such an irregularity or "record error"? thats undiluted nonsense! Yu are just showing how insane yu are. If yu have nothing to say, please hold your peace!

maaitazvenyu - 13 August 2013

Stupid Mudamerefu, your facts without point are baseless so as your thinking, and i can sure tell you you want everything for nothing stuoid Malaka Go hang

Mfana Ka Sobhuku... - 14 August 2013

The President is legitimate today. The President will be legitimate after inauguration. What has been scuttled is Tsvangirayi's bit to be President. Now he has no legitimacy as President of MDC-X either. The party should change name to West Party of Pretenders (WPP).

Mutongi Gava - 14 August 2013

Was just discussing this with some fellow reasonable pple and from our point of view, if the judges just decide to be influenced, its their own decision. Because, if they choose to be free and fair and rule accordingly. Even Mugabe can not touch them because he wnt be having the power to do so. Right now the Judges have power over him and its their only chance to be free from Mugabe's influence. If they decide to play his game then they will play his game till they die and their life will be in Mugabe's hands for ever. Once Mugabe loses they are free and can move on with their lives happily ever after.

zvichapera - 14 August 2013

How could an error of such a magnitude be allowed to go undetected. How many of a lessor magnitude were also deliberately allowed to stand knowing that the contestants were only seeing the roll on the polling day?

chokwadi - 14 August 2013

Hahaha what a joke. Zimbabwe will now move speedily from being a failed state to a flopped state. Somalia will look like a Sunday piknik now.

sgwebosentambo - 14 August 2013

I don't get people that just go on and on about elections being rigged without giving any evidence. I think the elections are the best we have had so far and those that won did so legitimately...Even Tsvangirai said so after casting his vote that he was waiting to be sworn in as the new president after a long and outstanding run-off period...so what then happened. We await the inauguration of Mugabe and then make plans and ways to move forward as one nation...I wish the government and people of Zimbabwe all the best.God Bless

tichatonga - 14 August 2013

Madhuku is another welshman. where does he stand exactly? what is his solution to zimbabwe crises?

nkomo tembinkosi - 14 August 2013

Look you people the voters roll is not a Zanu Pf roll. It is not Zanu PF that was running the voters roll and its not Zanu pf that manages the registration process. Its not like Zanu PF was in government alone, MDC T was also there and to make matters worse the voters roll was under the supervision of their minister. Please go hang and stop disappointing us as you have always done.

bones - 14 August 2013

Professors LovemoreMadhuku, WelshmanNcube, Mutambara, JonathanMoyo, VimbaiChivaura, Mpepereki, Mararike; the list is endless. Whatever it takes to become one I don't know. These so-called learned people have and are still letting our beloved country down by their theoretical knowledge. No matter how you guys can profess to know everything on this planet; your thinking and behavior is causing suffering to the majority of Zimbabweans. Most people especially young ones no longer aspire to become what you are.

tomasi tohwi - 14 August 2013

In any civilized country, only half the evidence which the MDC has presented is more than enough to cause the nullification of the result of the recent sham elections held in Zimbabwe. Even a village headman will tell you that what happened was grossly unfair. The Judiciary has the chance to prove to the world that they are not subservient to Mugabe.

tomasi tohwi - 14 August 2013

TSVANGIRAI CAN PROCEED TO CHALLENGE THE JUST ENDED ELECTIONS BUT I DON'T THINK HE WILL GET SUCCESSFUL. OUR COUNTRY ZIM CAN ONLY BE GOVERNED BY ZANU PF. IT IS A ONE PARTY STATE. IN ZIM VOTING IS JUST A WASTE OF RESOURCES AND TIME. TSVANGIRAI BELIEVES HE CAN BE GIVEN POWER THROUGH JUSTICE. THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN IN ZIM. THE COURTS IN ZIM ARE PARTISAN. THE VERDICTS WHICH THEY PASS FAVOUR ZANU PF.

MICHAEL - 14 August 2013

iwe @bones mhata yako

hakuna matata - 14 August 2013

munokangamwa kuti Davidi wakagadzwa humambo pachina mamboSauro,ndosaka tichiverenga kutambudzwa kwa Davidi namambo Sauro nguva yakati yasvika yamwari hapana akamisa kuda kwaMwari.saka tisazvitambudza navaMugabe navaTsvangirayi ngatimirirei nguva yamwari isvike chete kutaura kwese kunopera tikabata miromo yedu Ishe vatonga musakangamwa kuti hapana anoramba ipapo.D

Todzidhuvura - 14 August 2013

JUDGES OF THE CONCOURTS PLEASE PUT ON CHRIST FIRST AND LOOK AT FACTS ON THE GROUND. FACE FACTS AS THEY ARE. WE HAD OUR NAMES REMOVED, INTIMIDATED ETC. GOD IS WATCHING YOU YOU WILL JUDGE YES BUT ONE DAY GOD WILL JUDGE YOU THE WAY YOU JUDGE. THERE SHOULD BE A ZIMBABWE BEYOND ZANU PF AND RGM. WHERE WILL THIS PUT US AS A COUNTRY WHERE ONE CAN MANIPULATE ELECTIONS (2002, 2005, 2008) AND CONTINUE RULE WITH IMPUNITY. Remember Wars are Man Created. LETS NOT CONDONE RIGGING, INTIMIDATION, VIOLENCE IN ZIMBABWE PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE FAITH IN VOTING NOT RESORTING TO VIOLENCE TO CHANGE GOVTS. CONCOURT STOP THIS NOW. LOOK AT COUNTRIES WHICH HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO FAKE VOTING DEMOCRACY. this vote was not free (we did not make our own choice freely true) and fair (why play games with the voter,s roll). Mwari pindirayi nhasi.

BLOOD OF CHRIST - 14 August 2013

Madhuku you are a frog. You don't know what you want. Most people who called professors are leaned but don't have wisdom. Remember those people who innovated most of the equipment we are using were not educated but have wisdom. I hate people who have many degrees but not using them. They have farms but gigantic snakes are breeding in there fields. They were suppose to be high production with these so called learned people. stupid people what you know is to vomit gobbledygook.

Mukuru - 14 August 2013

So we all agree that the courts will no help the nation. What options are left to us? Bankiing on Tsvangirai to lead us to dreamland. Crying for SADC to pressurise Mugabe on our behalf? I dont see these takng us any where. We all agree that the election was stolen lets tell the world by serious peaceful mass protests and civil disobidience. Lets see if the riot police can beat up 500 000 people. We can do it the future is in our hands.

The patriot - 14 August 2013

This is grossly pathetic how a country like Zimbabwe ca have elections stolen at point blank.For the landslide victors is there anything to ululate for.Lets be mature enough the statesman does not have any new ideas to deliver to the young generation who are yearning for jobs.Its very devastating to learn that only a few elite will really benefit from the diabolical indigenisation scheme.Where are we going Zimbos lets wake up.

nyasha - 15 August 2013

Let's not be surprised about our judges they take their oath putting their hands on the bible pledging to serve fairly but they don't open to read it to read what is inside ,These JUDGES are ZANU projects no judgement is going to favour the MDC this case will drage for some tme but MUGABE will be inagurated becoz again they is another CIO who will go to court and ask for his inaguration basing it on that the country cannot go on for a long time without a sitting president and use the SADC&AU verdicts to support it,They is no negotiation that is going to pressurise MUGABE the only thing that is going to make him think is an economic meltdown & lf the masses go hungry they will know what to do including ZANU PF die hards

TERRORIST - 15 August 2013

mundmurefu u are o stupid

leo - 15 August 2013

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