Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa finally filed his court papers today challenging Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in last week’s elections and wants the Constitutional Court to declare him the winner or call for fresh elections.
“Our legal team successfully filed our court papers. We have a good case and cause!!” he tweeted to the applause of scores of his followers.
Today was the final day in which Chamisa could challenge the election results and he waited until the last minute in what some have said is a move to maintain tension and retain the support of his followers who would have deserted him.
Chamisa lost narrowly to Mnangagwa in a tightly contested election which had 23 candidates. Mnangagwa won 2.46 million votes against Chamisa’s 2.15 million.
Chamisa claims the vote was rigged. He won the poll by 56 percent. Mnangagwa won by 50.8 percent.
The challenge has scuttled plans to swear in Mnangagwa on Sunday as required by the Constitution.
ZANU-PF has three days to respond to the challenge after which the Constitutional Court will have to give a decision within 14 days. If Mnangagwa or Chamisa is declared the winner, the new leader has to be sworn in within 48 hours.
One of Chamisa’s twitter followers who does not seem to be behind the Alliance leader said: “Maybe, maybe not who knows, yekwaChivi yakabika mabwe ikaseva wani gore riya, it’s better to try and fail, than to fail to try, by the way, hazvizi zvekumahumbwe ka zvekuti unomukira kuti handichada, kkkkk, regai tione, this process is going to expose more than what we know.”
The case could indeed open a can of worms as the Alliance is reported to have hired top notch South African lawyers who are definitely not representing the Alliance on charity.
It could result in a humiliation of Mnangagwa who already has his sights on outperforming his predecessor Robert Mugabe to build a new Zimbabwe.
On the other hand, it is a do or die for Chamisa because if he loses after holding the country to ransom for more than 10 days, this could be the end of his political career.
It will also be interesting to know who is funding the legal costs when the party is reported to have failed to pay some of its election agents a mere $5, each, which according to their own call would have required $225 000 to hire 45 000 agents.
Pro-ZANU-PF activist David Matsanga claims that billionaire philanthropist George Soros and a plethora of non-governmental organisations that he supports as well as former Zimbabwe First Lady, Grace Mugabe, provided Chamisa with funding which they were not able to exhaust during the campaign as it came a little too late.