As the Constitutional Court carefully considers the evidence ahead of handing down judgement today in a petition in which MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is challenging and seeking to overturn President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 elections, constitutional law experts are predicting Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa will triumph.
In his petition, Chamisa, who is represented by advocates Thabani Mpofu and Sylvester Hashiti, argued the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) presided over a shambolic election, saying the poll was rigged in favour of Mnangagwa.
Nelson Chamisa’s lawyers submitted before a nine-member bench led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba that the electoral body manipulated the poll outcome, as shown by its revision of results “three times over.”
Mpofu said Zec announced that Mnangagwa had won the presidential election with 50,8% of the vote. However, Zec later admitted that there were some “clerical errors” before revising down his tally to 50,67%.
Constitutional lawyer Derek Matyszak yesterday predicted that Mnangagwa will be declared the winner of the 2018 harmonised elections.
“My prediction is pretty much the same as it was in 2013. Mnangagwa will be declared the winner of the elections and the courts will rule that the elections were free and fair. This is so because the courts made it clear that the MDC Alliance had come to court without any firm evidence,” Matyszak said.
“So likely there is just going to be the ruling without a full judgement to which the constitutional court will say it will give reasons later. The main issue is that the MDC Alliance lawyers should have brought the V11 forms to court.” Constitutional law expert Greg Linington said all the lawyers were impressive, making it difficult to predict the trial ruling. United Constitutional Court Kingdom-based Zimbabwean lawyer Brighton Mutebuka said Mpofu had a spectacular first half of the proceedings and a difficult second period when he came under “sustained” attack because of the absence of the V11 forms. He was also criticised for failing to ask for the “residue” or ballot papers to be unsealed in line with the Electoral Act.
“The simple inescapable conclusion is that Team Chamisa did not have enough of these. The other unavoidable conclusion is that Mnangagwa and Zec had them but they steadfastly refused to file them. In fact, one of the most stunning parts of the proceedings relates to the remarkable exchange that Justice Rita Makarau had with Zec’s counsel, Tawanda Kanengoni,”