LIVE: Chamisa ‘filed an incomplete application with missing papers’, ZEC lawyer claims

All eyes are on Zimbabwe as the country’s Constitutional Court hears the petition lodged by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in his bid to overturn President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 elections. Get the live updates here

Zimbabwe

Kanengoni: We have put the complete V11 form as opposed to what the applicant says was an incomplete V11

17:38

Kanengoni: The affidavit of Joseph Madzudzo that alleges that there was forging of figures on V11s was dealt with in papers before the court as opposed to what the applicant’s lawyers said in their submissions.

17:34

Kanengoni: The applicant did not provide the V11 forms which is the primary data. The onus is on the applicant to prove any over voting in order to debunk what was announced by ZEC

17:33

Kanengoni: There is no particularity on how the alleged rigging took place. The applicant did not attach any evidence to substantiate his claims

17:28

We don’t know how the applicant compiled his data but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is convinced that there is no polling station where there was some over-voting, says the ZEC lawyer

17:25

There is no discrepancy between what was announced and the voter turnout, says Kanengoni

17:25

ZEC did make provisions for people who wanted to be ZEC officials on Election Day to vote, therefore, the 40 000 figure is out, says Kanengoni

17:22

It is not known who the 40 000 teachers referred would have voted for, argues Kanengoni

17:22

Kanengoni: There is no indication that all the teachers who were deployed as election officials were registered, says Kanengoni

17:21

The only variance is the total figure, says Kanengoni

17:17

The figures presented by Chamisa showing a variance of figures has been mischaracterised by the applicant

17:16

The ZEC attorney says Chamisa’s lawyers filed an incomplete application with missing papers

17:10

Kanengoni says the applicant tried to serve papers on the 10th of August without the assistance of the sheriff

17:09

Kanengoni: The definition of of lodging refers to the filing and serving of papers through the sheriff by an applicant, therefore, the applicant cannot deny that he filed his papers out of time

17:08

ZEC lawyers now arguing

Tawanda Kanengoni is the lead ZEC lawyer


16:44

Court adjourns  for 10 minutes


16:36

The law in Zimbabwe allows voters to be assisted by people of their choice and there is proof of coercion, says Uriri

16:24

It is our prayer that this case be dismissed because at the end of this hearing no one knows how many votes should be subtracted from the first respondent as no proper grounds have been established by the applicant, say Magwaliba

16:23

Magwaliba: The application was not served within the proper period of 7 days as stipulated by the law. Lodging an application and serving of papers to respondents should be done within those 7 days but the applicant chooses to blame the sheriff

16:19

Allegations of bribery referred to in the heads of arguments have not been established, says Magwaliba

16:18

Dr Outumba is not a neutral expert whose evidence should be disregarded, says Magwaliba

16:15

No one knows whether 40 000 teachers were disenfranchised of their rights to vote as no one approached the courts to complain, says Magwaliba

16:14

The applicant does not say how many votes he lost as a result of the design of the ballot papers, says Magwaliba

16:13

Magwaliba: The applicant does not deny that all parties were given sample ballots during multi-party liaison committee meetings

16:11

The applicant did not audit the voters roll, adds Magwaliba

16:11

The electoral playing field was very even, says Magwaliba

16:09

ZEC denies that it gave any phone numbers to the ruling party and first respondent, says Magwaliba

16:08

No evidence led by applicant to suggest that some unnamed traditional leaders marshaled villagers to polling stations, says Magwaliba

16:07

The applicant did not write any single letter to the state media complaining of a skewed media coverage, says Magwaliba

16:05

Magwaliba says the averments cannot stand because the affidavit referred to by Mpofu deposed by Magunje was not served on ZEC

16:04

The only admissible figures are those that have been produced by ZEC which translate to 50.67% in favour of President Mnangagwa, says Uriri before deferring proceedings to his colleague Magwaliba

16:01


15:59

You need direct evidence to set aside the poll results, say Uriri

15:55

The voter turnout as declared by ZEC was 85.1% and that accounts for the 700 000 votes alluded to by the applicant, argues Uriri

15:54

Uriri: The integrity of Chamisa’s figures cannot be vouched for and they have been created as they did not originate from the official keeper of those figures

15:54

Uriri: What materials did he use and where did he get those materials

15:50


15:49

Where does the applicant get the figures when he has not approached the keepers of those figures and source documents, says Uriri

15:48

Evidence of ballot papers to each polling station and the number of ballot papers used at each polling are also available, says Uriri

15:46

Uriri: The evidence of electoral residue is still available

15:46

Chamisa should have applied to the electoral court to unseal the election residue within 48 hours as stipulated by the law, says Uriri

15:43

The applicant must bring to court the object that is alleged to be primary source of the allegations of voter fraud, says Uriri

15:41

Mnangagwa’s lawyer Uriri says the application is improperly before the court as the documents were not properly served on Mnangagwa

15:41


15:39

Court session has resumed and Mnangagwa’s lawyer Lewis Uriri takes to the stand to oppose the Chamisa submissions.

15:18

Policemen stand guard outside the courthouse in Harare, where the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court is hearing a petition by the main opposition seeking to overturn the results of the July 30 presidential elections. (Picture: AFP)

14:54

Chamisa’s lawyers in court said they had not been allowed to bring in electronic gadgets, either.

According to Veritas, a legal think tank based in Harare, the court can declare a winner or invalidate the election and call for a fresh election or make any other order it considers “just and appropriate.”

If the court upholds Mnangagwa’s win the inauguration would take place within 48 hours. This is not the first time the opposition has challenged election results in court.

Following the 2013 presidential election, then main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai filed a challenge but later withdrew it, claiming he would not get a fair hearing. The court declined his withdrawal and proceeded to rule on the case in favor of Mugabe. – AP


14:53

Mnangagwa and the electoral commission argue the opposition’s application should be dismissed on a technicality, saying it was filed too late and that papers were not properly served on respondents.

In his affidavit, Mnangagwa argues the court should not hear Chamisa’a application because he “scandalised” the court by claiming during political rallies that the judiciary was biased toward the ruling party, Zanu-PF.

Mnangagwa also accuses Chamisa of making “illusionary promises” to voters during campaign.

The case was being televised live by the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, but the courts ruled that the proceedings could not be livestreamed on social media.

Journalists and others accredited by the court were following proceedings from a giant television screen on the court premises, but they were not permitted to carry mobile phones or laptops. – AP


14:50

In Brief

Chamisa’s challenge claims the electoral commission bumped up Mnangagwa’s figures through double counts and the creation of “ghost” polling stations.

It also alleges that some polling stations recorded more voters than those registered to vote.

“It’s like a kid was playing with the figures,” a lawyer for the opposition, Thabani Mpofu, told the court. He alleged that 16 polling stations had identical results and that “massive doctoring” took place.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba, however, pressed the opposition for the original election results forms to back up their allegations: “We cannot act on generalities”. – AP


14:32

Court adjourns for lunch. Proceedings will resume in 40 minutes.