The Constitutional Court has declared Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner of the 30 July 2018 elections after dismissing with costs a poll petition by MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa.
After the 30 July elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared Cde Mnangagwa the winner with over 50% threshhold, and Chamisa, who polled below 45% of the total vote, filed a petition challenging the results and seeking the court to overturn the result and declare him the winner.
However, after Wednesday’s hearing at the Constitutional Court, Chief Justice Luke Malaba today read the historic and final judgement that will put to rest the election dispute.
“After all considerations, therefore, the application is dismissed with courts and Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is hereby declared the duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” said Chief Justice Malaba at the end of his ruling.
The Chief Justice said the court arrived at ruling after noting that Chamisa, with whom the burden of providing evidence lies, made general allegations with no substantial proof of evidence.
“The applicant failed to provide direct and substantial evidence to allegations of vote rigging, which would be sufficient for the court to invalidate the election…….Had the applicant placed all the V11 forms from all polling stations before the court, they could have been compared with the residue in sealed ballot boxes, and that would have addressed the allegations of over voting, the differences in presidential and parliamentary tallies, the alleged [late] surge of voters in some provinces and the question of probability of some polling stations having similar results,” he said.
Chief Justice Malaba also said the court’s view was that the applicant needed more evidence than just the mere admission by ZEC, adding that the electoral body made a critical admission that the results initially announced were wrong and as such, some minor corrections to the clerical errors were made, but that correction had no effect on the declaration of the winner.
He emphasised that in this case, the best evidence is the ZEC residue, specifically the sealed ballot boxes, which the applicant should have sought to have opened and ballots recounted within 48 hours after declaration of results.
Earlier on, the Chief Justice said Chamisa breached the court rules on deadlines but due to the national importance of the matter, the court decided to grant application for condonation.