Zimbabwe – Opposition to Contest Results in Court
The opposition MDC-Alliance has rejected the declaration of Zanu-PF and Emmerson Mwanagagwa as the winners of Monday’s election by Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission. According to the official tally Mnangagwa took 50.8% of the vote compared to Chamisa’s 44.3%. Meaning Zanu-PF only narrowly avoided a run-off that follows if no one candidate wins a majority.
MDC-Alliance leader Chamisa has labelled the results as “unverified fake results” and the party has indicated that it will launch a legal challenge. The content and evidence to be presented in the challenge is yet to be confirmed. However it is likely that the highly biased pre-election environment will be referenced, with the EU observatory mission stating clearly that ‘unequal opportunities (between candidates), voter intimidation and lack of confidence in the electoral process have undermined the pre-election environment.’ Observers also joined the opposition in their questioning of the lengthy delays in announcing the presidential results, which the opposition have claimed were an indication of attempts to manipulate results behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, troops continue to patrol the streets with at least six fatalities confirmed following a crackdown by the state security forces. While Zanu-PF officials have indicated that the opposition is under investigation for inciting violence and have raided their headquarters, the action taken against protesters was condemned by several human rights activists and election observers, including the Commonwealth election observer mission, which categorically denounced the use of excessive force against unarmed citizens.