Too late, Chamisa missed deadline to Challenge Mnangagwa: Lawyers

Tendai Biti

Tendai Biti

There was great optimism that the elections would bring real change after the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule in November.

"It will no longer happen".

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, it is reported.

"In the alternative, we seek that there be another election which complies with the dictates of the law", he said. "There is no inauguration that will take place until the matter is determined by the court".

"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".

The president-elect who is to be sworn into office this weekend and his party, Zanu-PF, have welcomed the court action.

"If [the judges] think the evidence is weak they could throw the case out fairly fast".

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Analysts say the legal challenge has little chance of success given the courts' historic tilt towards the ZANU-PF, which has ruled since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

Consequently, Chamisa wants the chief elections officer compelled to publish in the Government Gazette the order and the declaration of the election of Mr Chamisa to the office of the President of Zimbabwe. Opposition Nelson Chamisa, right, says the result was rigged.

The election passed off relatively smoothly but its aftermath revealed the deep rifts in Zimbabwean society.

At least six people were killed two days after the vote in clashes between security forces and MDC Alliance supporters who alleged that Mr Chamisa had been robbed of victory.

"This poses an even bigger danger to communities as it appears that the soldiers beating up civilians are not accountable to anyone", the commission said.

THE UK's Minister for Africa has urged the government of Zimbabwe and opposition party to call for calm amid violence following elections.

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

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