PRESIDENT-ELECT Emmerson Mnangagwa threw down the gauntlet on his opposition MDC Alliance rival Nelson Chamisa on his vote-rigging claims at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), setting the stage for what seems to be an epic legal battle.
Chamisa last week filed an election petition challenging the presidential results at the ConCourt.
Mnangagwa, in his founding affidavit submitted to the ConCourt courtesy of his 12-member legal team, trashed Chamisa’s application, saying it was not bona fide, but was a tactic meant to delay his inauguration as the duly-elected President and to also find an opportunity to make a political statement in court.
Mnangagwa also dismissed Chamisa’s claims that he had won the just-ended presidential elections, adding Chamisa himself had conceded defeat in his papers before the same court.
“It is crucial to note an important admission made by the applicant (Chamisa), the schedule (which is in fact annexure D) that he refers to shows ‘… discrepancies between the votes announced by Zec [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] and the actual tallies derived from V11 and V23 data’. In terms of the actual tallies derived from V11 and V23 data provided by applicant, he received 2 151 620 votes equating to 44,4% of the total votes cast and I received 2 455 559 votes, which equates to 50,7% of the votes cast. This is not correct, but even if it was, (which is denied) that would still be enough for me to win the election,” Mnangagwa said.
“… The applicant has not mounted this application for the bona fide purpose of setting aside the results of the presidential election conducted on July 30, 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.”
Mnangagwa said Chamisa made unsubstantiated claims that he suffered overall prejudice of 345 784 votes due to “… polling station specific cases of voter intimidation, voter coercion and/or otherwise potential manipulation”.
The Zanu PF leader said there was nothing in Chamisa’s source documents to support any allegations of voter intimidation.
“In fact, the ‘expert’ in his own report first states that there was an overall prejudice of the applicant of 305 784 votes (which is denied) and then without explanation changes that number some few paragraphs later to 345 784 votes,” he said.
Mnangagwa further claimed edChamisa’s intention was to create doubt in the minds of people as regards the integrity of the process and, in so doing, “undermine the presumption of a due return contemplated by section 93 of the Constitution, without discharging the requisite onus and, invite condemnation of the court for resolving matters on the technical objections he had deliberately invited”.