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Time for judiciary to prove its independence

DAGGERS have now been drawn again between Zanu PF and MDC Alliance after the latter yesterday filed their court challenge against the July 30 presidential results, which they claim were doctored in favour of Zanu PF.


The latest developments mean the planned inauguration of President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa, cannot go ahead today as scheduled as the court has to deal with the matter first. The stakes are quite high and it is likely going to be a tense weekend for both parties as Zanu PF has at most three days to file their response according to the Constitution.

Our hope is the court deals with the matter expeditiously and with utmost professionalism and integrity as the destiny of the country may as well hinge on its verdict. As it is, business is at a halt as stakeholders follow closely what is going to happen. Given the tension in the preceding week, it is our hope that the MDC Alliance has secured adequate evidence to put up a decent fight with which they may be able to win if the court acts fairly and professionally.

Essentially what this means is that the nation will be in some of inertia for at most the next two weeks, given that the Constitution allows the court a maximum of 14 days within which it can deal with the matter.

It is within the parameters of the ConCourt to exercise any of the three options that include declaring a winner — which could be the same or different from the one declared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission — invalidate the election (and then there has to be a fresh election within 60 days) or grant any other order “just and appropriate”.
The last option is fairly broad and can include calling for a recount or even a run-off. Most significantly, the ConCourt’s decision will be final.

The MDC Alliance has a tall order as it has to demonstrate to the court that, indeed, there were instances in which the law was not complied with and show how such irregularities influenced the final results of the elections. After having been accused of holding the nation at ransom by playing hide and seek, the MDC Alliance ought to put up a decent fight and demonstrate that they knew what they are talking about.

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