Chamisa vs ED: Con-Court battle explodes

HARARE - The poll dispute between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance is today entering a decisive phase whereby the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) will sit to hear both sides of the story before making its determination.

In a deeply-polarised nation, the poll dispute has further divided Zimbabweans, while plunging its agro-based economy into turmoil.

The parties to the dispute have lately been burning the midnight oil to sharpen their arguments, which have since been presented before the full bench of the Con-Court.

Constitutional law experts told the Daily News yesterday that the poll dispute has assumed an interesting turn whereby it is now the last court of appeal itself which is now on trial.

Welshman Ncube, a constitutional law expert and one of the principals in the MDC Alliance, highlighted this invidious situation the Con-Court now finds itself in a tweet yesterday.

“Having now read through all the papers filed by all parties in the Constitutional Court presidential election petition, I think it is the Constitutional Court itself which will be on trial on Wednesday (today). Will they have the courage to look at the evidence without fear or favour?” Ncube said on his Twitter account.

Chamisa is challenging Mnangagwa’s victory as announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), as he claims to have won the July 30 presidential election with 60 percent of the vote.

According to Zec’s results, Mnangagwa won 50,8 percent of the vote, while Chamisa got 44,3 percent.

Zec has since amended the results in court papers filed last week by adjusting Mnangagwa’s win to 50,6 percent and Chamisa at 44,39 percent.

In his application, Chamisa is seeking the nullification of the presidential election results and that he be declared the winner or an alternative order for the conducting of fresh elections.

Mnangagwa has been insistent that he should be declared the winner and that the petition by his rival be dismissed with costs.

MDC Alliance secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News yesterday that Chamisa’s legal team was more than ready to argue the case in court today.

“We are very prepared; the lawyers are ready to argue the matter. Everything is in order,” Mwonzora said.

Mnangagwa’s legal team is also upbeat.

Lewis Uriri, who is part of Mnangagwa’s legal team, said they were ready for Chamisa and his team.

“We were prepared from day one. All things being equal, we expect the case to proceed as planned tomorrow (today),” Uriri said.

In a statement, the MDC’s director of communications, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the nation was standing on a knife-edge, waiting for the judiciary to assert its independence by ascertaining the true verdict of the people in the just-ended election.

“The ball is now firmly in the hands of the courts,” Tamborinyoka said.

MDC Alliance member and lawyer, David Coltart, said he had gone through Mnangagwa and Zec’s responses to the application and realised that they looked similar.

“I have just read both EDM (Mnangagwa) and Zec’s heads of argument. Both are remarkably similar in some respects which smacks of collusion. Both focus on technicalities to avoid the merits. Both are astonishingly light in dealing with the serious Constitutional and Electoral Act breaches,” Coltart wrote on Twitter.

Priscilla Chigumba, the Zec chair, is also asking the court to dismiss Chamisa’s application, raising alleged shortcomings which she said rendered the petition “fatally and incurably defective”.

She further denied accusations that Zec shared voters’ information with Zanu PF following mobile phone messages that were sent to the electorate by Zanu PF candidates canvassing support.

She said the polling station returns were affixed at all polling stations established by the electoral body for the conduct of the 2018 elections.

This comes after claims by the MDC Alliance that some results at 21 percent of the constituencies were not posted on the polling stations as is prescribed at law.

While the legal process is underway, some regional players at the just-ended Southern African Development Community summit in Namibia called for calm ahead of the hearing.

Comments (1)

Itai zvinoita kuti tiwanewo chingwa patafura. I have suffered for a longtime. Vamwe vachidya vachiguta isu veruzhinji tichishaya kana $0.10 yekutenga bhanduru rema veg

Toyitomato - 24 August 2018

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