UPDATED: ED files Chamisa response. . . ‘No valid poll petition challenging President’s victory’

Zanu-PF legal team Advocate Lewis Uriri (left) and Paul Mangawana chat after filing their papers in Harare today.

Zanu-PF legal team Advocate Lewis Uriri (left) and Paul Mangawana chat after filing their papers in Harare yesterday.

Fidelis Munyoro, Harare Bureau
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says there is no valid election petition challenging his victory in the July 30 harmonised elections in which Zanu-PF won two thirds parliamentary majority to claim leadership of this country for the next five years.

The President was responding to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s petition filed at the Constitutional Court last week on Friday, claiming the poll was rigged.

Mr Chamisa is contesting the poll result announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in which President Mnangagwa garnered 50, 8 percent of the total votes against the MDC Alliance leader’s 40, 3 percent.

In his response President Mnangagwa, who is being represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, also raised several preliminary objections to the petition.

The President wants the highest court in the land to dismiss the petition and confirm him the winner of the presidential poll held on July 30.

“The applicant has not placed before the court any evidence of irregularities which warrant the setting aside of the declaration made by the 23rd respondent (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba) that I won the elections,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said a dismissal order was appropriate given the fact that the petition was plagued with flagrant procedural irregularities.

“It was lodged out of time. Even then, it is wanting in respect of the addresses of 19 out of 25 respondents. No proof of service was filed with the registrar of the court within 48 hours as required by the (court) rules.”

President Mnangagwa said the application was not served with all documents that Mr Chamisa claimed to have filed.

“This host of irregularities is fatal to the application,” he said.

President Mnangagwa further argued that the intention by Mr Chamisa’s lawyers to issue out a subpoena against Justice Chigumba, shows the MDC Alliance leader accepted the inadequacies of his evidence.

In this regard, the President said, the proper course of action which the court must adopt is to accept Mr Chamisa’s admission and throw out the application.

The President also contends that Mr Chamisa’s petition is premised on alleged mathematical anomalies which have no factual basis.

“The lofty conclusions made by the applicant are unsubstantiated and completely unbelievable,” he said.

Furthermore, President Mnangagwa dismissed the supposed experts whose affidavits Mr Chamisa relies upon in tallying the figures saying their conclusions are at variance with the applicant’s conclusions from the same data.

“They rely upon secondary data from unreliable sources and make conclusions which are not themselves coherent,” he said accusing the so-called experts of bias against him.

“They do not establish any integrity in respect of the materials upon which they relied.”

President Mnangagwa also pointed out that Mr Chamisa did not make the application to set aside the presidential results in good faith, but simply wanted to delay his inauguration as the duly elected President of the country and to make political statements in court.

“This is apparent from the fact that the application does not comply with the rules of the court and constitution,” he said.

“The court must see through this stratagem and dismiss the application.”

President Mnangagwa urged the court to censure Mr Chamisa for the gross childish prank in which he prosecuted his application.

In his petition Mr Chamisa claimed the presidential results were engineered to rob him victory.

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him winner of the July 30 presidential election.