By Idah Mhetu
THE MDC Alliance was Friday left licking its wounds after the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) sealed its fate with a poll challenge judgement that exposed how the country’s main opposition lacked tact in dealing with its tough opponent.
The poll petition was triggered by Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s electoral defeat to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30 elections.
The main opposition alleged massive poll fraud by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission through a combination of inflating figures, vote buying and state media monopoly by the incumbent, among a slew of poll irregularities.
Presenting the apex court’s ruling, Chief Justice Luke Malaba exposed how the opposition chose to blunder when it was time to prove to the world how it has been deprived of clear victory.
Chamisa, through his lawyers, accused ZEC of cooking up figures that allowed Mnangagwa to avoid a run-off. There was nothing by way of evidence in the form of balloting material presented to prove claims of cheating.
Chief Justice Malaba said the alleged evidence from the figures was “debunked” by ZEC lawyers during the hearing on Wednesday.
The top jurist said the courts could not invalidate Mnangagwa’s victory based on thin evidence presented before it by the opposition chief.
“No proof or evidence was adduced by applicant against ZEC,” he said in the ConCourt judgement.
“The best evidence would have been the contents of the ballot boxes compared with what ZEC announced…would have given court clear evidence of malpractice.”
Malaba said Chamisa did not help his cause when he failed to exercise remedies availed to aggrieved parties during elections.
These included exercising his right to request the opening of ballot boxes to compare the ballots with what was announced by ZEC in V11 forms.
“On the 2nd of August, the applicant knew that he was an aggrieved party therefore time was on his side to obtain election residue to later use in court as evidence,” he said.
“The applicant could have asked for an election recount or approached the Electoral Court to ask for unsealing of the ballot boxes.
“…The applicant was going to be armed with evidence but he chose not to exercise that right.”
He added, “The applicant was supposed to present V11 forms to the court that are given to each party’s election agents.
“Logic dictates that the applicant, if he had the V11 forms, he was going to be able to compare them with the contents of the ballot boxes.
“Amendment and revision of figures is provided for in the law. Applicant needed more evidence than mere admission by ZEC of inaccuracies around mathematical figures.”
The MDC has been under fire for failure to upstage Zanu PF in successive elections and squandering its advantage when all appeared they had the opponent’s back on the wall.
The opposition has also invited wide criticism for failure to match Zanu PF in terms of organising effective structures that deliver victory.