Chief Justice Malaba started by reading the Constitutional Court judgment in election petition brought by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa. He proceeded by reading what the law says for one to challenge the results of an election. He says the applicant seeks to set aside the result of the election and be declared the winner or alternatively an order compelling the state to conduct a rerun. Further, he said the application was served on the respondents on the 8th day.
Constitution says application must be lodged with the registrar and served on respondents within 7 days of election result declaration (10 PM August 10), but applicant served the application on some respondents on August 11 – CJ Malaba.
CJ says applicant sought that:
I) The presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the law and was not free and fair.
II) Election results & declaration announced by ZEC is declared unlawful and set aside.
III) That the applicant be declared the winner.
Respondents duly lodged. The applicant was in breach. But the court has the power to condone none compliance due to the importance of the matter and public interest involved. Condonation is granted, and we now we address the merits – Chief Justice Malaba.
Onus and burden of proof rest with applicant – Chief Justice Malaba. Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Malaba says the ruling to be made was unanimous. There was no dissenting judgement. He adds that Allegations against the 1st respondent (Mnangagwa) were made without particularity and specificity.
No proof or evidence was adduced by the applicant(Chamisa) against ZEC. The best evidence would have been the contents of the ballot boxes compared with what ZEC announced… would have given court clear evidence of malpractice – CJ Malaba.
CJ Malaba: On the 2nd of August, the applicant(Chamisa) knew that he was an aggrieved party, therefore, time was on his side to obtain election residue to later use in court as evidence.
CJ Malaba: The applicant could have asked for an election recount or approached the Electoral Court to ask for unsealing of the ballot boxes. Armed with such evidence the applicant was going to be armed with evidence but he chose not to exercise that right. CJ Malaba: The applicant was supposed to present V11 forms to the Court that are given to each party’s election agents.
CJ Malaba: Logic dictates that the applicant if he had the V11 forms he was going to be able to compare them with the contents of the ballot boxes.
Declaration of a President by ZEC can only be changed by Constitutional Court – CJ Malaba. ZEC made critical admission their announced figures were incorrect. It was admitted this affected Mnangagwa’s result, he adds.
The clinical errors amounted to a negligible change in the polling result. “Amendment and revision of figures are provided for in the law. Applicant needed more evidence than a mere admission by ZEC of innacuracies around mathematical figures” – CJ Malaba
CJ Malaba: ZEC took time to analyse and was able to expunge the allegations of the applicant. It was not clear how the 40k figure of the teachers was calculated. Claim 40,000 teachers disenfranchised was too general and unsubstantiated. But ZEC demonstrated some teachers deliberately chose to be deployed away from their polling stations. In any case, no proof all the teachers would vote for Chamisa – CJ Malaba.
CJ Malaba: Chamisa’s application has been dismissed with costs. President ED Mnangagwa has been declared the winner of the 31 July election.
CJ Malaba ends by thanking the lawyers’ integrity during the proceedings and the people of Zimbabwe for the confidence they have in the judiciary.
Source: Mbare Timescom