…expat lawyers jet in
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa yesterday dispatched a three-member team to lobby Sadc leaders at the ongoing regional summit in Namibia as Zimbabwe’s political situation remains in limbo.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on August 3 declared President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa winner of the July 30 presidential election with 50,8% of the vote, while Chamisa came a close second after garnering 44,3%.
Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda yesterday confirmed MDC-T women’s league boss, Lynnette Karenyi, national executive member Gideon Shoko and academic, Phillan Zamchiya have been dispatched to Windhoek on a diplomatic offensive.
“They are going to highlight the fact that we have deposited a petition with the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) as well as the need to uphold issues of free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe,” Sibanda said.
“The diplomatic team will also highlight the fact that Zec’s numbers don’t tally at all.”
Chamisa has, however, since approached the ConCourt seeking to have the results reversed and instead have him declared winner. The opposition leader is arguing Zec falsified figures to benefit Mnangagwa, but both the Zanu PF leader and Zec have denied the charges with the matter now set to be heard next Wednesday.
MDC Alliance’s foreign lawyers have since jetted into the country for the ConCourt showdown with Zanu PF. “As we speak, some of our lawyers from South Africa have arrived.
Advocates Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi are already in the country and we are expecting more from Kenya as well as Zambia,” Sibanda said.
“We must, however, indicate that our lawyers are disappointed at the standard response from President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s camp. It’s so unpresidential. Our lawyers are shocked and would have expected better. We also think Mnangagwa would have wanted to have this case heard to its logical conclusion given the slim margin he has. You cannot run a country with such a slender majority, there is no credibility and legitimacy.”
Mnangagwa is already in Namibia for the two-day summit running under the theme Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development.
Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo was quoted saying Zimbabwe will not be on the agenda.
In the run-up to the elections, Chamisa at some point demanded Sadc to convene an extraordinary summit to discuss what he called “a developing crisis” in Zimbabwe after writing to South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa, the regional body’s chairperson.
He, however, changed tact a few days later and reportedly approached Angola, the current chair of the Sadc Troika, requesting that a meeting be held to discuss the situation in the country.
This seems to have died a natural death as the elections were held before violence broke out, leading to the death of at least seven people at the hands of soldiers, triggering global condemnation, including from Sadc and the African Union.
The Sadc election observer mission (EOM) gave last month’s election a clean bill of health, adding it “represented a political watershed in the history of the country” despite howls of disapproval from the opposition.