ZIMBABWE’S electoral processes right up to President Mnangagwa’s inauguration on Monday, were aboveboard and no report by any election observer mission can reverse the outcome or interfere with the country’s constitutional laws, a law expert has said.
In an interview yesterday, Constitutional lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, said all political parties, and Zimbabweans at large, should look ahead and focus on improving the areas that were outlined by the various Election Observers Missions that were in the country last month.
Prof Madhuku told The Herald that save for a few glitches, the country’s electoral processes were done by the book throughout.
He exhorted some overzealous sections in the country’s political divide not to be under any “illusion” that foreign entities could influence processes duly done according to regulations and statutes outlined in the country’s laws.
“The inauguration was strictly in terms of the law because the Constitution decrees that the inauguration should be done on the ninth day and there is no other way around it.
“The only way it cannot happen on the ninth day is if there is an election challenge and one of the candidates would have filed an application in the Constitutional Court, and in this case there was no challenge before or after the ninth day.
“There should not be an illusion that you can use a report to reverse the election outcome,” he said.
Prof Madhuku said instead, recommendations tabled by the observer missions should be used as notes to assess the “pros and cons” in the country’s electoral laws for the purposes of the next harmonised elections.
“SADC operates on the basis of the laws of the individual country so as far as the Zimbabwean laws are concerned once you have a declaration by ZEC (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) and there is no change to it by the Constitutional Court then the inauguration follows, it cannot be changed by SADC whatever the circumstances.
“All Zimbabweans must now engage in trying to improve our electoral laws for the next elections so the way forward is about accepting that elections are now over so all observations by the various observers should form our notes for the purposes of improving the 2028 elections, they should not be notes for reversing but for improving the next elections.
“They should be part of our debates in terms of pros and cons,” he said.
Prof Madhuku said the challenges and glitches experienced should be addressed by the ZEC timeously to avoid a recurrence in 2028.
“There was no doubt that ZEC for the future must not repeat the idea that some polling stations do not open on time and also on the printing of ballot papers, they need to improve on that.
“The way forward is to take note of all the observations by the observers,” he said. President Mnangagwa was sworn-in as the country’s Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for the next five years on Monday.
Some sections of the opposition, particularly the CCC, were crying foul but their efforts proved futile as they had no basis on which to challenge the elections’ outcome. – Herald