Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
President Mnangagwa says there is no valid election petition challenging his victory in the July 30 Presidential contest that saw him garner 50.8 percent of the votes cast. The President was responding to MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa’s petition filed at the Constitutional Court last Friday, claiming the poll was rigged.
Mr Chamisa is contesting the poll result announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that saw him trail President Mnangagwa with 44, 3 percent of the votes cast.
In his response, President Mnangagwa, who is being represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, also raised several preliminary objections to the petition.
‘‘The applicant has not mounted this application for the bona fide purpose of setting aside the result of the presidential election conducted on 30 July 2018. Instead, the intention was to delay my inauguration as the duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and to make political statements in court.
‘‘This is apparent from the fact that the application does not comply with the rules of the honourable court and the Constitution. The honourable court must see through this stratagem and dismiss the application. In addition the applicant must be censured for the grossly childish manner in which he prosecuted this application. An order for costs is therefore merited,’’ President Mnangagwa said.
The President wants the Concourt to dismiss the petition and confirm him the winner of the presidential poll.
“The applicant has not placed before the court any evidence of irregularities which warrant the setting aside of the declaration made by the 23rd respondent (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba) that I won the elections,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said a dismissal order was appropriate given the fact that the petition was plagued with flagrant procedural irregularities.
“It was lodged out of time. Even then, it is wanting in respect of the addresses of 19 out of 25 respondents. No proof of service was filed with the registrar of the court within 48 hours as required by the (court) rules.”
President Mnangagwa said the application was not served with all documents that Mr Chamisa claimed to have filed.
“This host of irregularities is fatal to the application,” he said.
President Mnangagwa further argued that the intention by Mr Chamisa’s lawyers to issue out a subpoena against Justice Chigumba shows the MDC-Alliance leader accepted the inadequacies of his evidence. In this regard, the President
said, the proper course of action which the court must adopt is to accept Mr Chamisa’s admission and throw out the application.
The President also contends that Mr Chamisa’s petition is premised on alleged mathematical anomalies which have no factual basis.
“The lofty conclusions made by the applicant are unsubstantiated and completely unbelievable,” he said.
Furthermore, President Mnangagwa dismissed the supposed experts whose affidavits Mr Chamisa relies upon in tallying the figures saying their conclusions are at variance with the applicant’s conclusions from the same data.
“They rely upon secondary data from unreliable sources and make conclusions which are not themselves coherent,” he said accusing the so-called experts of bias against him.
“They do not establish any integrity in respect of the materials upon which they relied.”
President Mnangagwa also pointed out that Mr Chamisa did not make the application to set aside the presidential results in good faith, but simply wanted to delay his inauguration as the duly elected President of the country and to make political statements in court.
“This is apparent from the fact that the application does not comply with the rules of the court and constitution,” he said.
“The court must see through this stratagem and dismiss the application.”
President Mnangagwa urged the court to censure Mr Chamisa for the gross childish prank in which he prosecuted his application.
In his petition Mr Chamisa claimed the presidential results were engineered to rob him victory.
Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him winner of the July 30 presidential election.