Zimbabwe opposition mounts legal challenge against election result

Zimbabwean opposition official Tendai Biti

DAGGERS have now been drawn again between Zanu PF and MDC Alliance after the latter yesterday filed their court challenge against the July 30 presidential results, which they claim were doctored in favour of Zanu PF.

By narrowly winning more than 50% of the vote Mr Mnangagwa avoided a run-off election against Mr Chamisa.

Chamisa's legal team arrived at the Constitutional Court at the eleventh hour with members of the media having been in wait for at least half a day.

Advocate Mpofu said the applicant has enough evidence including alleged statistical misrepresentations by the elections administration body, ZEC and other factors that included an uneven playing field.

The filing of the petition also means Mnangagwa's inauguration, which had been scheduled for Sunday, will have to be cancelled until the court renders a decision on the matter. If it does this successfully, the court could order a recount or nullify the result altogether. The opposition said the result was rigged. "There is no inauguration that will take place until the matter is determined by the court". "We are seeking a declaration to the effect that the presidential election was not properly conducted", MDC party lawyer Thanbani Mpofu said. "But if they want to meet us in court we have sufficient legal minds to meet them squarely in court", ZANU-PF legal secretary Paul Mangwana said.

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, his lawyer told Reuters news agency.

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The aftermath of the election has been marred by allegations of a crackdown on opposition members, including beatings and arrests.

"Zimbabwe faces a awful threat from a group of people that has no respect for the law", Biti, who was granted bail Thursday, told the court.

‏Tendai Biti was released earlier today following my intervention.

British government's Minister for Africa urges government of Zimbabwe and opposition party to call for calm amid violence following elections.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission said it was concerned that no one was taking responsibility for the deployment of soldiers that the opposition says were harassing its supporters and ordinary citizens in townships at night.

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