Lawyers representing President-Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa have filed their papers opposing Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s petition in which he has rejected Mnangagwa’s victory and has asked the Constitutional Court to declare him the winner or call for fresh elections.
Mnangagwa was declared winner of the 30 July elections with a 50.8 percent of the vote, barely avoiding a run-off.
Zimbabwe’s Constitution says for one to be declared an outright winner in the presidential elections, one must win 50 percent of the vote plus one.
One of the lead members of Mnangagwa’s defence team, Lewis Uriri described Chamisa’s application as political rhetoric packaged in an affidavit.
“They are no more than clowns coming to court to play a game that ought to be played elsewhere. This is a waste of the time of the people of Zimbabwe, yet it is their right to be heard,” he said.
According to the Herald, Uriri also said: ““We have filed our opposing papers. We will show the court that Chamisa’s lawyers had until Friday 10 am to file and serve their papers.”
Chamisa’s lawyers have accused Mnangagwa’s lawyers of trying to depend on a technicality to get the case dismissed as they have no answer to the overwhelming evidence of “rigging” that they have.
Some analysts, however, say Chamisa is just trying to buy time so that his supporters do not desert him.
Derek Matyszak said: “By refusing to accept the election results and alleging fraud, Chamisa has kept tensions high. He has also retained support among party cadres that might otherwise have dissipated had he conceded defeat.”
According to AFP, Matyszak also gave the petition little chance of success saying: “It’s a high hurdle to get over….It’s almost a foregone conclusion.”