By Anna Chibamu
LOSING MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa is racing against time as he has until end of business this Friday to file his court challenge against his defeat or allow eventual winner Emmerson Mnangagwa to proceed with his inauguration.
Chamisa came second to Mnangagwa in a closely fought presidential election which saw him emerge with a 44,3 percent of the national vote while Mnangagwa got 50,8 percent.
The 40-year-old opposition chief is strongly disputing the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and has vowed to go the “legal and constitutional” route to force the reversal of the outcome.
His lawyers have toiled throughout the seven-day grace period afforded by the law to put together evidence to buttress the poll challenge.
Advocate Thabani Mpofu, head of a legal team that is mounting the MDC Constitutional Court petition, vowed Wednesday “the poll challenge is going ahead, prepared, clear and convincing”.
He said they had a “secret weapon” to unleash through their petition should things go a different direction.
Zimbabwe’s justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has told state media Zanu PF was keenly following events across as preparations for Mnangagwa’s inauguration tentatively set for August 12 are already in motion.
“It is our mandate as the government to prepare for the inauguration of the President-elect, and so far, we have been checking if the MDC Alliance has appealed,” he told the state broadcaster this week.
“Up to now they (MDC) have not, so we are progressing with the preparations.
“If the opposition fails to beat the deadline, the law is straightforward, the President-elect can be inaugurated with 48 hours.”
“If the MDC Alliance files before the deadline, then the Constitutional Court will have the final decision to stop the inauguration or allow it to be conducted within a period of 14 days.
“If they contest the outcome, the court will have two weeks to decide, but if it happens that the court decides quickly in favour of the MDC Alliance, then the inauguration is stopped to pave way for probably a run-off, but if the ruling favours the incumbent president, then inauguration will take place within 48 hours.”