Mnangagwa looks beyond Chamisa challenge

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa

PRESIDENT-ELECT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appeared unfazed by opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) petition challenging the results of last month’s presidential election.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

In his speech at the burial of national heroine and former Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Thokozile Mathuthu, the Zanu PF leader dwelt on his vision for the “Second Republic” effectively belittling this week’s ConCourt hearing that could nullify his slim victory.

Mnangagwa was declared winner of the July 30 presidential election with a slim 50,8% margin beating youthful Chamisa who garnered 44.3% of the vote.

Chamisa has since approached the ConCourt demanding that the result be nullified, arguing that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced “fake results”.

But Mnangagwa, whose Zanu PF party swept to a surprise crushing two-thirds majority in legislative elections said the vote was a people’s affirmation of the former liberation movement’s connection with ordinary Zimbabweans.

“The more than two-thirds majority (from the elections) is a loud show of support and confidence from the people. Drawing inspiration from the collective hope and dreams of our people, we will as government work tirelessly in the 2nd Republic to improve the lives of all our citizens, in every part of the country,” Mnangagwa said.

Chamisa has brought in lawyers from across the continent and seems confident the courts will rule in his favour but Mnangagwa’s speech betrayed his confidence the slim margin will hold.

The President-Elect came to power in November last year on the back of a military intervention that forced then President Robert Mugabe into dramatic resignation.

Mnangagwa, who had been forced into temporary exile as the Zanu PF power struggles turned ugly, made a triumphant return to take power before calling for elections in which his controversially scrapped through.

Amid claims hawks in Zanu PF were angling for a repeal of the Constitution to remove sections that speak to devolution, Mnangagwa allowed the election of provincial authorities and yesterday cemented this arguing the thrust was meant to benefit women and youths.

“Principally my government has taken a decision to implement the constitutional requirements of devolving and decentralising the running of our national affairs.

“This is one of the strategies to rebuild our economy, through modernisation and industrialisation, the creation of decent jobs as well as ensuring broad-based empowerment in line with our vision 2030,” the President-elect said.

“In this vision, we have a special place for the country’s youths who deserve a better life and increased opportunities. They must therefore take this programme of devolved economic development as specifically for them.” – News Day