Zimbabwe Elections: Court Upholds Mnangagwa’s Victory

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The constitutional court of Zimbabwe has upheld the election of incumbent President, Emmerson Mnangagwa dismissing opposition claims that irregularities marred the Zimbabwe elections.

The opposition had appealed to the constitutional court to annul the results of last month’s presidential election, which gave victory to incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The court ruled on Friday that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) alliance, led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, had failed to prove accusations of fraud during the elections.

According to Justice Luke Malaba;

“The application is dismissed with costs … Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is duly declared the winner of the presidential elections held on the 30th of July 2018.”

Reacting to the court ruling, President Mnangagwa expressed his reaction via his twitter account where he stated that he was not surprised by the deceision of the court and called for unity and peace.

“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.” He wrote.

We were not surprised by the court’s decision. The election results were firmly in line with all the pre-election polling, and were entirely consistent with the final tally of ZESN, the largest body of independent observers.

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 concluded.

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The opposition MDC coalition had filed a legal challenge, alleging a rather large volume of discrepancies and electoral fraud including incorrect counting and fake polling stations. It was also alleged that some polling units had more ballots cast than registered voters.

President Mnangagwa had won the elections with enough votes (50.8%) to avoid a run-off against Chamisa who finished a close second with 44.3%.

While election observers had praised the conduct of the election, they however said Mnangagwa had benefitted from an un-level playing field as well as voter intimidation especially in the rural areas.

The legal challenge thrown up by the MDC had delayed the planned inauguration of Mnangagwa which was supposed to have been August 12. The inauguration will now take place in 48 hours according to the dictates Zimbabwe’s constitution.

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