Court upholds Robert Mugabe successor’s victory as president of Zimbabwe

by Agencies

The Zimbabwe Constitutional Court has declared Emmerson Mnangagwa duly elected president, dismissing a petition filed by the opposition.

Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition argued that the results should be annulled due to “massive doctoring” of the July 30 vote.

“There is a massive cover-up. There has been a massive doctoring of evidence,” Thabani Mpofu, representing the MDC, told the court Wednesday.

Mnangagwa, of the ruling Zanu-PF party, won the election with 50.8 per cent of the vote, just enough to meet the 50 per cent threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3 percent.

Thembinkosi Magwaliba, representing Mnangagwa, dismissed claims that the opposition had produced any evidence of fraud.

“This application was not seriously done. The applicant is clearly flippant,” he said.

Reports from Harare say that the city’s roads are empty.

Delivering the verdict, Chief Justice Luke Malaba called allegations of tampering “bold and unsubstantiated”.

It was Zimbabwe’s first election since long-time leader Robert Mugabe was ousted from power last year.

Two days after the vote, at least six people were killed in clashes between the army and MDC Alliance supporters, who alleged that party leader Nelson Chamisa had been robbed of victory.

Ahead of the court ruling, the streets around the courthouse in the capital, Harare, were cordoned off by security forces.

Chief Justice Malaba said he had ruled against the opposition’s petition because it lacked “specificity” and failed to meet “the requisite standard of proof”.

“The best evidence would have been the contents of the ballot boxes themselves,” he said.

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