Zimbabwe’s new president must be sworn in on 25 or 26 August at the latest as the Constitutional Court must give a ruling on the petition filed by Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa by 24 August at the latest.
According to a paper offering legal advice to President-Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa leaked by Jonathan Moyo, one of the former G40 members fighting to get Chamisa in, Advocate Lewis Uriri said the MDC Alliance had to file its file its petition by 10 August while the Constitutional Court must finalise the matter in 14 days.
Uriri was arguing over whether weekends and public holidays counted or not when calculating days as the challenge had to be filed within seven days of the release of the results.
The law firm that he was consulting for had suggested that the Alliance had until 16 August to file their petition failing which Mnangagwa must be sworn in by 20 August.
Uriri said the last day of lodging the petition had to be 10 August failing which Mnangagwa should be sworn in by 12 August.
If the results were challenged, the winner would have to be sworn in within 48 hours that is either on 25 or 26 August.
Although local media has reported that Mnangagwa’s lawyers are in a state of panic, sources say it is the other way round.
The paper, leaked by Moyo, was drafted on 8 August, two days before the deadline for filing papers.
Uriri clearly stated: “In the event of a petition inauguration day will be delayed to within 48 hours of the declaration of the winner by the Constitutional Court. I will show below that this would have to be either the 25th or 26th August 2018.
“I must mention in passing that I have previously advised on, and we have discussed, the prospects of success of any potential petition on every possible conceivable ground and concluded that on the facts and the law any such petition suffers from imminent and predictable failure.”
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