LIVE: Courtroom gets heated as chief justice directs ‘tricky’ questions at Chamisa’s lawyer

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.

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.

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

13:55 – Mpofu insists that there was no need to open the ZEC residues given the evidence they have, which is that the figures provided by ZEC which do not tally.

13:47 – Cornered on why Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance did not choose to have the ballot boxes opened, Mpofu says most of their arguments have nothing to do with the revisit to the residue, citing differences in presidential and parliamentary tallies, as one example.

13:44 – Justice Patel tells Mpofu that the best way to establish V11s were manipulated was to see those V11s in the first place. Justice Gwaunza then asks what is the percentage of V11 forms Mpofu has cited in relationship to the alleged polling station manipulation.

13:35 – Mpofu says according to the EU Observation Mission v11 forms were not posted outside some polling stations, and CJ Malaba asks him to name the specific polling stations, but Mpofu is unable to do that.

13:21 – Mpofu presents to the court signed but unpopulated v11 forms, saying this is evidence that ZEC rigged the elections. He says the sealed ballot boxes are already ‘poisoned.’

13:14 – CJ Malaba asks the applicants why they would want to rely on the secondary data, when the primary data is available.

13:10 – Adv. Hashiti, also representing Chamisa says the admission to errors by ZEC means that the whole process is compromised and the election result should be set aside.

13:02 – Mpofu also alleges that the postal voting was not done in accordance with the law, saying ZEC does not dispute that there was a mock voting in police stations. Mpofu adds that according to the law, those who apply for postal voting should have their ballot papers posted to their homes so that they vote independently, saying this did not happen.

13:00 – Mpofu says out of the 60000 teachers who participated in the electoral process as polling officers, about 20 000 voted and ZEC could not file affidavits of all those who opted to forgo their right to vote.

12:57 – Mpofu says contrasting pattern of results at adjacent polling stations raises suspicion of rigging.

12:56 – There are at least 16 polling stations with identical results.

12:46 – Mpofu says some votes came from non-existent polling stations.

12:42 – Mpofu says the presidential and parliamentary tallies creates over 40700 votes for the presidential race.

12:36 – On election results, Adv. Mpofu says the fact that ZEC has already accepted that the first set of results is wrong, it must then follow that the electoral commission has no primary data to support those results. He adds that three sets of results given by ZEC are wrong.

12:35 – Mpofu starts by speaking about the pre-election process and says the environment favoured Zanu PF.

12:30 – Now Mpofu gives submissions on the real case.

12:26 –  The ConCourt bench rules that the submissions by respondents 5, 6,17 and 20 are dismissed. “The submissions by the 5th, 6th, 17th and 20th respondents are not properly before the court..the papers have been expunged from the record with no order as to costs. Reasons for the decision shall be contained in the main judgment,” CJ Malaba.

12:25 – We are back again in the courtroom.

12:03 – We have a 20 minute break as judges deliberate on submissions by parties. ZEC and Zanu PF lawyers want the court to dismiss submissions of respondents supporting Chamisa, while Chamisa’s lawyer and the respondents want to be heard. The verdict now rests with the ConCourt bench.

10:31 – Responding to an accusation that Noah Manyika, filed his own papers challenging the election result under the guise of filing opposing papers, Manyika’s lawyer says being cited as a respondent means that they had to file something, either supporting or opposing the applicant.

10:25 – Chief Justice Luke Malaba argues that the Constitution only gives respondents space to oppose an application, adding that those supporting the applicant needed to have filed their own presidential election challenge with the court.

10:14 – Chief Justice Luke Malaba clarifies the 4 categories of participants, that is the Applicant, Respondents who filed notices of opposition, Respondents who filed documents in support of the applicant and People who have indicated they are not going to participate.