Full ConCourt version for 2018 presidential election judgment divides sentiment

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THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Monday released a full version of its August 24, 2018 abridged judgment following a challenge by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of the July 30 presidential election result in which incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu PF was declared winner.

THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Monday released a full version of its August 24, 2018 abridged judgment following a challenge by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of the July 30 presidential election result in which incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu PF was declared winner.

In approaching the ConCourt, Chamisa wanted to have the August 3 declaration by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of Mnangagwa as the duly elected President of Zimbabwe overturned.

The applicant also asked the ConCourt to declare him winner in the place of Mnangagwa, failure of which another presidential election had to be held within 60 days of the ruling.

The judgment also revealed that the apex court had condoned Chamisa and allowed the court proceedings to continue despite the fact that his application was improperly filed.

In dismissing Chamisa’s application for nullification of the 2018 presidential election, the ConCourt held that the MDC Alliance president’s prayer for such a relief was malicious and ill-advised, having failed to demand or ensure that sealed ballot boxes were opened for verification to prove his case as provided for by the electoral law.

According to the ConCourt, MDC Alliance’s presidential aspirant – for which the burden of proof lied – also failed to proffer primary evidence to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the election was rigged by Zec in favour of Mnangagwa.

The full ConCourt judgment, in the end, threw out applicant Chamisa of the MDC Alliance’s application with costs for lack of merit.

But asked to comment if last week’s release of the full 2018 version of Zimbabwe’s presidential election challenge by the ConCourt stood to change anything on the country’s political and economic terrain, University of Zimbabwe political analyst, Eldred Masunungure, said: “The release of the full court judgment version by Justice Luke Malaba is now all water under the bridge in terms of Zimbabwe’s politics – both from the perspective of Zanu PF, MDC and the international community.”

Masunungure also questioned why it had taken more than a year for the full judgment – which he claimed was written on less than 100 pages – to be released.

He added that the judgment served as a lesson for the opposition of what to expect in forthcoming elections.

Another political analyst, Richard Mahomva, echoed similar sentiments with Masunungure, but said Zimbabwe did not owe the United States and the European Union anything.

“Why should the international community show some political interests in Zimbabwe?

“Just because the US and its allies are rich and powerful should not be reason for them to dictate political reforms to us,” Mahomva said. 

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