Zimbabwe Constitutional Court begins hearing opposition election petition

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court has on Wednesday began hearing the case in which the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance Nelson Chamisa is contesting the victory of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 30 July presidential poll.

Nine judges of the apex court led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba are hearing the petition. The court has 14 days within which to make a determination of the dispute.

Chamisa is challenging the result of the vote that gave President Mnangagwa 50.8 per cent of the votes as against 44.3 per cent for him. There were 23 candidates.

For the past two days, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had been busy accrediting those who would be allowed to sit in court and pitching a tent for people who will be following the proceedings from outside the court, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported. The state broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, will broadcast the proceedings live.

A case management meeting attended by the parties in the chambers of the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe last Thursday agreed that the case will be heard from 22 August.

The presidential, parliamentary and councillor elections were the first to be held since the Southern African country's long serving president, Robert Mugabe, was forced to resign in November last year. He had been leader since independence in 1980.

Chamisa has said the election was rigged and is asking the Constitutional Court to declare him as winner.

President Mnangagwa said Chamisa has not placed before the court any evidence of irregularities which warrant the setting aside of the declaration made by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, declaring him the winner of the election.

President Mnangagwa's lawyers have said the petition was plagued with flagrant procedural irregularities pointing out that it was lodged out of time while it was not served with all documents that Chamisa claimed to have filed.
-0- PANA MA 22Aug2018

22 august 2018 10:27:26

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