Mnangagwa warns Chamisa to weigh consequences of his Petition

Emmerson Mnangagwa

HARARE – The embattled Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and everyone aiding in his election petition that they should consider the consequences that may ensue from the success or failure of the presidential challenge.

Chamisa has challenged the results of the presidential election at the Constitutional Court alleging that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) manipulated the results to favour President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In his heads of arguments which were filed and served today, Mnangagwa says,

“The disappointment naturally felt by a candidate, his election agent, and supporters, on his failure to secure election, often causes a keen desire to appeal to the law.

The sting of defeat is hard to bear … But everyone aiding or concerned in the presentation of an election petition, should carefully consider and be advised upon the whole position, before adopting so serious a step, and should well weigh all the consequences that may ensue from either the success or failure of a petition.

There is no legal proceeding which is more far-reaching in its effects, which excites a greater amount of animosity, personal feeling, and hostility”

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.

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.”

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