People not courts decide election outcome- Concourt says in 137-page Chamisa judgment


Zimbabwe’s highest court, the Constitutional Court has finally released the full judgment in the case in which Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa took Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa to court over the 2018 presidential election results.

The court said the essence of Chamisa’s case was that he won the presidential election but he failed to prove this.

“In the final analysis, the court found that the applicant failed to place before it clear, sufficient, direct and credible evidence to prove the irregularities he levelled against the Commission,” the court said referring to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which conducted the elections.

“He also failed to prove the allegation of electoral malpractices he levelled against the first respondent (Mnangagwa).

“The applicant did not prove the alleged irregularities as a matter of fact. It would be unnecessary in the circumstances to ask and answer the question whether the alleged irregularities affected the result of the Presidential election.

“It is an internationally accepted principle of election disputes that an election is not set aside merely on the basis that an irregularity occurred. There is a presumption of validity of an election. This is so because as long as the election was conducted substantially in terms of the constitution and all laws governing the conduct of the elections it would have reflected the will of the people.

“An election can only be set aside if it is proved on a balance of probabilities that the irregularities shown by clear and credible evidence to have been committed by officers of the body charged with the duty to conduct the election in accordance with the law of elections affected the result.

“It is not for a court to decide elections; it is the people who do so. It is the duty of the courts to strive in the public interest to sustain that which the people have expressed as their will.”

The hearing was broadcast live.  Chamisa up to today insists he won the elections.

Attached in the full judgment.

Nelson Chamisa and 24 Ors v Emmerson Mnangagwa


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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