Mnangagwa extends olive branch to Chamisa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses gathering at the Heroes Day commemorations yesterday.-(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)
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PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday welcomed the decision by the Constitutional Court to uphold his electoral victory in the July 30 presidential polls, extending an olive branch to MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa who had approached the apex court seeking to reverse his victory.

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday heard the case in which Mr Chamisa was contesting President Mnangagwa’s victory in the presidential poll.

President Mnangagwa won the election with 50,67 percent of the total vote, with Mr Chamisa garnering 44,3 percent.

Mr Chamisa filed an application two weeks ago at the Constitutional Court, arguing that the official results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) that declared President Mnangagwa the winner were not credible.

Presenting the ConCourt’s judgment yesterday, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said Mr Chamisa failed to produce evidence to convince the court that the polls were not credible.

Posting on his official Twitter account, President Mnangagwa said after the MDC Alliance incited post election violence in Harare on August 1 that led to the death of six people, the Government still allowed Mr Chamisa, in the spirit of democracy and transparency, to file his papers challenging the July 30 poll outcome.

“After the wholly unnecessary violent protests, we welcomed the legal route which the MDC eventually took to challenge the elections,” said President Mnangagwa.

“We were not surprised by the court’s decision. The election results were firmly in line with all the pre-election polling, and were entirely consistent with the final tally of (Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network) ZESN, the largest body of independent observers.”

He reiterated the independence of the courts adding that the Government will implement recommendations by international monitors after the polls.

“We have independent courts and we promised to respect their decision. Just as with the insights received from the international monitors, we will accept and implement all recommendations to further improve our democratic process.

“I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all. Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first. Let us all now put our differences behind us. It is time to move forward together.”

Congratulatory messages started pouring in late yesterday soon after the court delivered its ruling.

The South African Government, in a statement, called on Zimbabweans to accept the decision by the ConCourt.

“The South African Government has noted the decision of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, handed down today, 24 August 2018, in the case brought by the MDC Alliance in which the results of the elections held on 30 July 2018 were challenged. The court has validated the results as released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on 02 August 2018.

“The South African Government urges all those involved in the court case, in particular the applicants and the respondents, to accept the decision of the court. It is important, going forward, that all parties work towards lasting peace, unity and prosperity in Zimbabwe,” read the statement.

“President Ramaphosa has congratulated President Emerson Mnangagwa, the winner of the elections as confirmed by the Supreme Court, and has recommitted South Africa’s readiness to work with the Government of Zimbabwe in the pursuit of closer political, cultural, economic and trade ties for the mutual benefit of the peoples of South Africa and Zimbabwe.”

The European Union delegation, Heads of Mission of EU Member States and the Head of Mission for Switzerland also called on Zimbabweans to respect the ConCourt judgment.

“Today, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court dismissed the petition filed by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa challenging the results of the July 30 presidential election, thereby confirming Emmerson D Mnangagwa as the winner of the poll.

“It is important that everyone respects the Zimbabwean Constitution and the rule of law. Acknowledging the verdict of Zimbabwe’s highest court, all stakeholders should call for calm and restraint in both victory and defeat,” said in a joint statement.

“The electoral process revealed improvements as well as challenges. A truly inclusive approach is the key to design and implementing reforms that stand the test of time. It is important that the new government engages all stakeholders in substantive discussions on the necessary reforms, including on further electoral reforms.”

The Heads of Missions committed their readiness to continue to work with Zimbabwe.