Zimbabwe: Court nixing poll challenge irks opposition

By John Cassim

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AA) – A top court's dismissal of an election challenge by Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader came under fire on Saturday from several sources.

Human rights groups, the MDC Alliance opposition electoral pact, and lawyers for Chamisa Nelson, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), blasted the high court ruling, saying the Constitutional Court had been “captured” into favoring President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

On Friday the court dismissed Chamisa’s challenge, seeking nullification of the July 30 polls, saying it lacked both merit and evidence.

“You can respect the court and yet not agree with its decisions,” Chamisa said on Saturday in the capital Harare.

The opposition leader, rejecting an olive branch extended to him by Mnangagwa, added: “We are so clear that legitimacy can never be conferred in a court of law.

“Legitimacy is fundamental, it has not been dealt with, will not be dealt with, and has to be dealt with.”

Chamisa said his party will take a political route to resolve the issue by approaching the Southern African Development Community inter-governmental organization and the African Union as well as by staging protests.

After the polls, Zimbabwe election officials declared Mnangagwa the winner with 50.80 percent, with Chamisa trailing at 44.3 percent. But those results were altered twice and now rest at 50.3 percent for Mnangagwa.

On Sunday Mnangagwa is set to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s first elected president in the post-Robert Mugabe era.

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