Con-Court to hear historic Chamisa challenge next Wednesday

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Nelson Chamisa’s legal challenge to have the results of last month’s elections overturned will heard next Wednesday.

The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Thursday set August 22nd as the date on which it will hear the matter in which Chamisa is challenging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s decision to declare President Emmerson Mnangagwa winner of July 30 vote.

According to MDC Alliance secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, Chief Justice Luke Malaba directed that all the necessary administrative procedures be set in place to facilitate the hearing of one of the most important political cases in Zimbabwe’s history.

“The matter has been set for August 22nd and will be heard by the full bench of the Constitutional Court,” said Mwonzora.

“The Chief Justice (Malaba) has therefore directed that all the necessary administrative procedures be put in place to make sure the hearing has no glitches,” said Mwonzora refusing to discuss further details.

“It’s all sub-judice. I cannot discuss the details of the meeting any further than I have said.”

Chamisa is arguing in his petition that Zec’s numbers show an inflation of votes allocated to Mnangagwa who was declared winner with a slim majority of 50.8%, just scrapping through avoiding a run-off by around 40 000 votes according to experts.

The opposition leader has also cited numerous irregularities including double counting and apparent reduction of votes allocated to him.

Senior aides to Chamisa who attended the case management meeting on Thursday seemed deflated.

“It’s going to be tough. The ConCourt is clearly putting spanners in the works. They have given some orders that clearly make it difficult to argue the case,” said a source on condition they are not identified.

Another source said Malaba and his bench had made it clear that any respondent who is not opposed to Chamisa’s application will not be allowed to “bring supporting evidence.”.

“The Court made it clear that all other respondents who did not file a petition would not be allowed to bring in evidence. So, it is going to be difficult for us to bring in supporting evidence from other parties,” New Zimbabwe heard.

Chamisa cited all 23 presidential candidates, the Zec as well as its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba.

Some of the presidential aspirants like Noah Manyika of Build Zimbabwe have indicated they have damning evidence that could sink Mnangagwa’s claim to the throne.

Analysts have argued that the establishment led by Mnangagwa might lean on Malaba and his bench to force the ConCourt to throw out Chamisa’s challenge on a technicality.

Others contend that the best the opposition candidate can hope for is a re-run of the election which, Constitutionally, should be within 60 days of the nullification of the first poll. The decision of the ConCourt is final.