Mnangagwa’s inauguration may need to be postponed as MDC arrives at court

Leroy Wright
August 11, 2018

"There will not be any inauguration this Sunday until this matter has been resolved in the courts", said Chamisa's lawyer Thabani Mpofu said.

His party must lodge its appeal at the Constitutional Court by 1400 GMT, when the court closes.

Chamisa has alleged the results were manipulated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ensure that Zanu-PF leader and President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa won.

The MDC Alliance's legal representatives‚ Chris Mhike and Sylvester Hashiti‚ and his chief election agent‚ Jameson Timba‚ arrived at the court about 30 minutes before the courts closed for the end of the day at 4pm to file the papers.

"We have a good case and cause!" he tweeted shortly after filing the challenge.

Mnangagwa, who is seeking to reverse Zimbabwe's economic isolation and attract desperately needed foreign investment, had vowed the elections would turn a page on Mugabe's repressive 37-year rule.

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

European Union observers said that the ZANU-PF candidate had benefitted from an "un-level playing field" and some voter intimidation, though worldwide monitors largely praised the conduct of the election.

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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.

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, his lawyer told Reuters news agency on Friday.

"We've managed to place before the court forms that show the (results) figures were erased".

"In the alternative, we seek that there be another election which complies with the dictates of the law", Mpofu said.

But the MDC Alliance say the security forces have launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition following the disputed poll. Six died after soldiers opened fire on the protesters in a response the opposition alliance called "disproportionate and unjustified".

Mr Biti is the first senior opposition politician to be detained since Mr Mnangagwa took over from Mr Mugabe.

Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter that Biti was released after he intervened personally in the case.

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