LIVE: ZEC ‘bumped up Mnangagwa’s figures through double counts’, MDC 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

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.

14:30

The sheriff had enough time to effect service on the first respondent but decided not to do anything and therefore the applicant cannot be penalised for someone’s dereliction of duty, says Mpofu

14:29

In brief

Zimbabwe’s opposition argued in the country’s top court Wednesday that the presidential election results must be thrown out, alleging that only “massive doctoring” of the vote had kept Emmerson Mnangagwa in office.

Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) launched a blistering attack on the ruling Zanu-PF party and the election commission over the July 30 ballot – Zimbabwe’s first election since the ousting of Robert Mugabe last year.

“There is a massive cover-up. There has been a massive doctoring of evidence,” Thabani Mpofu, representing the MDC, told the court.

Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former ally, won the election with 50.8% of the vote – just enough to meet the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.

“There were at least 16 polling stations with identical results – identical result for Chamisa, identical results for Mnangagwa. It is like a kid who was playing with the figures,” said Mpofu.

He argued that irregularities wiped out the narrow margin by which Mnangagwa had avoided a second-round vote.

“A run-off is unavoidable. For now, the election must be set aside,” Mpofu said, adding that “we have a false ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission). We have a lying ZEC.” – AFP


14:18

“If we were to say the first respondent is the elected president, how many votes did he garner?,” Mpofu asks

14:17


14:17

Mpofu says Mnangagwa and ZEC connived to undermine the constitution by rigging elections

14:11

ZEC violated the constitution and the Electoral Act by denying some Zimbabweans their right to vote, that effectively means ZEC threw President Mnangagwa under the bus, says Mpofu

14:06


14:03

The applicant had no reason to cause the opening of ballot boxes for a recount and is not obliged to do so, says Mpofu, especially when there is evidence placed before the court that figures released by ZEC were not genuine and consequently Mnangagwa did not win the election.

In that case there is no need for primary evidence


13:54

Mpofu says they are sitting over 9000 votes that do not require the opening of the residue because those votes came from ghost polling stations

13:50

Mpofu says the fulcrum of the applicant’s case is not premised on the residue

13:50

Chief Justice asks why Chamisa has not applied for ballot boxes to be opened within 48hrs stipulated by law

13:45

Mpofu says they could not have gathered all the eveidence in seven days hence they chose to dwell on systematic manipulation by ZEC

13:34

Mpofu reads an affidavit by one of the polling agents who says she was chased away from the polling station by the presiding officer and was only allowed to return after counting had been done and was asked to sign the V11 forms and she refused.

Mpofu adds that the agent then went home and was followed by unnamed men who had covered their faces with ashes who sodomised the polling agent’s husband


13:27

Mpofu says one of the affidavits he has from one Madzudzo shows that some people came with unpopulated V11 forms for him to sign after polling had already closed and he refused

13:25

This is evidence of manipulation after the process by ZEC, says Mpofu

13:20

Mpofu says there had been a massive cover up

13:20

The Chief Justice asks why original documents were not produced and why the applicant did not seek to have the ballot boxes opened

13:19

V11 forms produced in court by Mpofu show that they are signed, stamped but they have not been populated – meaning that they have no figures. Mpofu says this demonstrates some of the irregularities

13:16

The key case of the applicant is based on ZEC’s own figures, says Mpofu

13:15

ZEC has now come up with a figure that has not been verified, says Mpofu

13:15

Mpofu replies that there is no need to defer to what has been defined as secondary evidence when ZEC has accepted that their figures are not genuine

13:14

Chief Justice Luke Malaba asks why the applicant filed his case on secondary evidence when there is first and original evidence

13:12

Hashiti says once the mathematics is gone then there is no valid election process. ZEC has admitted flaws in figures that it announced and that should settle the matter

13:10

Hashiti says there was no valid election

13:09

Another Chamisa lawyer Sylvester Hashiti takes the stage and says the validity of the July 30 is being tested

13:08

The case stands to be determined on the basis of numbers. Numbers do not lie and a run off is unavoidable, says Mpofu

13:05

Mnangagwa filed his notice of opposition out of time, says Mpofu

13:05

The people of Zimbabwe have a right to a free and fair election, says Mpofu


13:03

Once an application has been lodged, the court assumes jurisdiction to hear the matter

13:03

The sheriff initially agreed to serve our papers but was instructed to do otherwise, says Mpofu

12:59

ZEC has changed the results three times and that cannot be accepted, says Mpofu

12:59

Mpofu: A verification of the presidential results is a verification of V23 but ZEC was verifying results at ward level

12:58

There were instances Chamisa and Mnangagwa getting the same figures and the same spoilt papers at several polling stations and it looks as if a kid was playing with figures, says Mpofu

12:56

Mpofu: There is no dispute that 40 000 people were denied their right to vote

ZEC does not dispute that postal voting at Ross Camp police station was not secret


12:56

Zimbabwean following the Constitutional Court proceedings in and outside Harare.