Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Zimbabwe opposition mounts legal challenge against election result

Zimbabwe opposition mounts legal challenge against election result

LOSING MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa is racing against time as he has until end of business this Friday to file his court challenge against his defeat or allow eventual victor Emmerson Mnangagwa to proceed with his inauguration.

By narrowly winning more than 50% of the vote Mr Mnangagwa, a member of the ruling Zanu-PF party, avoided a run-off election against Mr Chamisa.

The MDC arrived at the court less than an hour before it closed on Friday, the last day that the petition could be lodged.

"We have a good case and cause!" he tweeted shortly after filing the challenge.

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U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols Thursday made a surprise appearance at Tendai Biti's court hearing telling journalists soon after that the decision by Zimbabwean authorities to charge the MDC Alliance politician was "worrisome".

The first election since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a coup in November had been expected to end Zimbabwe's pariah status and launch an economic recovery but post-election unrest has reminded the country of its violent past.

"If the MDC Alliance files before the deadline, then the Constitutional Court will have the final decision to stop the inauguration or allow it to be conducted within a period of 14 days. But if they want to meet us in court we have sufficient legal minds to meet them squarely in court", ZANU-PF legal secretary Paul Mangwana said.

On August 1, soldiers opened fire on MDC protesters, killing six people and sparking an worldwide outcry.

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Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, his lawyer told Reuters news agency on Friday.

Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter that Biti was released after he intervened personally in the case.

Senior Zimbabwean opposition figure Tendai Biti was arrested as he tried to flee to neighbouring Zambia to seek asylum on Wednesday, his lawyer said, allegedly on charges of inciting violence over the disputed election result.

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