The day Con-Court delivered judgment

HARARE - Suspense enveloped Zimbabwe on Friday so thick that it could be cut with a knife as the nation collectively held its breath in anticipation of the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) judgment that declared Emmerson Mnangagwa the president and threw supporters of his challenger Nelson Chamisa into mourning.

Throughout the day, police combed the streets of Harare in anticipation of any eventualities as Zimbabwe’s future was decided by nine men and women who sit on the Con-Court bench.

With a haggard look, Chamisa sat in Africa Unity Square that faces the Parliament of Zimbabwe holding onto to his mobile phone, keen to hear the news which he said was critical to his life and those of his five children.

Roads remained closed and menacing police water cannons were peppered across the city which was unusually quiet for a Friday.

The Chief Justice Luke Malaba dismantled Chamisa’s court case in deflating fashion (to MDC Alliance).

It was clear the opposition was destined go back to the drawing board while Mnangagwa and Zanu PF ascend to the throne again, with the inauguration set for today.

Outside the courts, Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda told the media that it was clear that Zanu PF, whose vice president and former military chief Constantino Chiwenga had declared before the Con-Court verdict that Mnangagwa was unstoppable, had exerted undue influence on the bench.

“At various points this morning in Harare, we have experienced jets flying above. This suggests that there is somebody preparing for an inauguration. It is not clear how anybody would begin this process before the courts have made a determination on the case that’s before them.

“It is important for the people involved, including the government, to understand that the courts need to be respected and everybody must wait until the courts have made their proclamation before we do anything else,” Sibanda said before the court delivered its ruling.

With his forefinger tracing his cheek, Chamisa’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu, who had dazzled the world with his sharp tongue and legal jargon starred at the judges who were all dressed in black robes and white wigs.

The case fell like the proverbial deck of cards and the pain etched on Chamisa’s supporters “who had hoped against hope” that the Con-Court could stop Mnangagwa’s march to the State House was almost tangible.

As the news filtered into the streets of Harare, there were no celebrations, only pensive looks. Vendors went about their business and the police details deployed around Harare sat with sjamboks in their hands on the lookout for trouble.

After the ruling social media went into a frenetic frenzy, it was a déjà vu of sorts as the realisation sank in that the evidence that Chamisa had brought to the courts was not enough to sway the apex court.

After the court ruling, MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said although they hit a dead end with the legal process they still had several options to pursue including demonstrations.

“The fact that the court has ruled against us doesn’t mean we lost the elections, we still think by the figures announced by Zec this election was rigged, they announced three results there are a number of things that we should do, they are political actions we can take including demonstrations which are enshrined in our Constitution,” said Mwonzora.

The MDC’s national council, the highest decision making body outside congress will meet on Wednesday to thrash the way forward.

Mwonzora said the MDC Alliance case was put on its head when Chamisa’s lawyers from South Africa were denied entry into the country.

“There was legal xenophobia there was hostility from the State so they are justified to approach the Sadc Tribunal but in any contest they must be a winner and a loser and we are grateful to our local legal team that did a splendid job.”

Asked if he was happy with the court decision Mwonzora said they will accept the decision but that does not remove the fact that Zimbabwe is a divided nation.

Comments (2)

this guy is so heartless but one day is one day

Innocent - 27 August 2018

Errors by MDC Alliance and its legal team that aided in the Con-Court ruling; 1. Not registering electoral mal-practices with the Electoral Court. 2. ZEC not ED should have been made the 1st respondent to their petition. 3. Petition irregularities; serving respondents evidence after 7-day deadline. 4. Petition lack of primary evidence election residue as required by law section 93 of constitution. 5. Roping in outside law experts for the hearing after petition was lodged.

Sinyo - 27 August 2018

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