The Constitutional Court has upheld Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election as Zimbabwe’s president.
Mnangagwa won last month’s election by 50.7 percent to narrowly avoid a second-round run-off prompting opposition party Movement for Democratic Change Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa to challenge the victory saying it was marred with violence, mammoth theft and fraud.
However, on Friday the nine justices of the court unanimously rejected the claims by the opposition before dismissing the case.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba in his verdict said the allegations of tampering with votes are bold and unsubstantiated.
“The best evidence would have been the contents of the ballot boxes themselves,” Malaba said.
In their petition, the opposition claimed that Mnangagwa’s 50.7% vote share which was just 30,000 more votes than the minimum needed for outright victory was suspicious.
However, the Chief Justice in his verdict said the opposition ought to have requested for a vote re-count and this would have been useful to confirm their claims of rigging but noted there was no evidence to this allegation.
“A re-count would have provided a clear and indisputable picture of the outcome of the election”.
The judges unanimously threw out Chamisa’s petition before upholding Mnangagwa’s election as president of Zimbabwe.
However, Chamisa’s MDC said despite respecting verdicts of courts of law, they challenge the one that upheld Mnangagwa’s victory in a higher court .
“Our unstinting belief in the rule of law means we shall not only respect the verdict of the Bench but we shall also doggedly pursue all constitutionally permissible avenues to ensure that the sovereign will of the people is protected and guaranteed,” MDC tweeted.
Speaking shortly after his victory had been upheld, Mnangagwa called on his nemesis cum MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for dialogue and peace-building ahead of his five-year term.
“I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all. Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first. Let us all now put our differences behind us. It is time to move forward together,”Mnangagwa said in a tweet on Friday.