‘ED’s lawyers in panic mode’

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s lead lawyer Thabani Mpofu claims the evidence they submitted to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) was indisputable and would likely embarrass both the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa, hence the latest move by Zanu PF lawyers to have the matter dismissed on technical grounds.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Zanu PF legal secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana

This came amid reports that Mnangagwa’s lawyers were now in a panic mode and clutching at straws to have the court challenge dismissed on a technicality, instead of being heard on its merits when the ConCourt sits to hear the matter.

Mpofu claimed that his team had submitted a bundle of evidence, including V11 forms from all the polling stations that were set up by Zec which, if tallied, showed Chamisa polled 2 674 032 votes against Mnangagwa’s 2 008 639 votes.

Chamisa said Mnangagwa was “fraudulently” declared winner of the July 30 presidential polls, and wants the ConCourt to declare him the winner, instead.

“You can see that the intention is to access the data that we have, that data cannot be accessed, that data is going to be seen for the first time in the application, but those desperate attempts speak to the fact that there is something which these people want to hide and it is that something which they want to hide which we are going to fully expose,” Chamisa’s lawyer said.

“So many people are going to be embarrassed, but ultimately the will of the people is going to prevail … I am satisfied that the evidence we have is not only overwhelming, but embarrassing.”

In the petition filed by Chamisa on Friday, he accused Zec of disenfranchising over 40 000 voters, among them teachers and other civil servants who were deployed to polling stations outside their wards and hiding 21 polling stations, and generating a huge number of assisted votes in areas where Mnangagwa won by wide margins.

But, Mnangagwa’s lawyers led by Zanu PF’s legal secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana last week indicated that they wanted the case dismissed for late filing, among other technicalities.

The 12-member Zanu PF legal team claimed that Chamisa’s lawyers missed the deadline to file the application and to timely serve Mnangagwa and the other respondents with the court papers.

Highly-placed sources told NewsDay that the Zanu PF lawyers were desperate to keep a lid on the evidence gathered by Chamisa’s team, hence their bid to push for the case to be dismissed on technical grounds.


Mangwana could not be reached for comment yesterday afternoon although he had earlier been spotted at the ConCourt building ostensibly to submit the response.

Law lecturer and human rights lawyer, Valentine Mutatu, however, described the Zanu PF legal team’s bid as futile, saying the ConCourt would likely not give in.

“Read the judgment by Justice [Luke] Malaba in the petition by the late [MDC-T leader] Morgan Tsvangirai, where he said that the issue of validity or otherwise can only be decided on merit. He denied withdrawing the matter insisting on hearing the merits,” Mutatu said.

In 2013, Tsvangirai approached the ConCourt seeking to overturn the electoral victory of former President Robert Mugabe, but before the case was heard the late MDC-T leader sought to withdraw the case before it was determined, and the court refused.

In his judgment CCZ 20/17, Justice Malaba, said the issue of challenging the results of presidential elections was integral to protecting the Constitution of Zimbabwe and once brought before the attention of the courts should be heard and be determined.

“Section 93 (3) of the Constitution provides that the court ‘must hear and determine the petition or application lodged under subsection (1) with 14 days after the date of lodgement’. The word ‘must’ is not used to mark only the obligation in respect of the time limit within which the acts designating the duty imposed must be carried out. The word is also used to indicate to the court that it is under obligation to treat the petition or application in the manner prescribed and not in any other way.

“What is imposed is the duty to obey the order first. Obedience is doing that which is required by the law. In other words, the women and men exercising judicial authority must appreciate the meaning of the provisions to the effect that the court with the power with which they are imbued ‘must hear and determine’ the petition or application lodged with it,” Justice Malaba ruled then.

Justice Malaba in his ruling also said it was sufficient for the court to require full knowledge of the matter brought before it to ensure a just, fair, final and binding decision by the highest court in the land on the merits of the question of the validity or invalidity of an election of a President.

“Considering that the court, which is the final court in the land, has been given original and exclusive jurisdiction on all matters relating to an inquiry into the validity of an election of a President brought to it by means of a petition or application, it makes sense to require it to acquire full knowledge of the facts before making final and binding decisions … the intention was obviously to reduce the risk of an erroneous decision to a tolerable minimum,” Justice Malaba ruled.

In cementing his ruling, Justice Malaba said a decision on whether a President was elected in the manner desired by the Constitution and that the rights of the people of Zimbabwe were protected merits of the matter that should be heard.

“It is clear that the final and binding decision on the validity or invalidity of the election of a President is required to be based on the merits of the case … The mandatory hearing and determination of the petition or application on its merits is the means required to be used to produce the final and binding decision on the validity or invalidity of the election of a President,” the judgment read.

Mutatu said based on the judgment made by the now Chief Justice in 2013, it was highly unlikely and most improbable for the case to be dismissed on technicalities as raised by Zanu PF lawyers.

“It is clear without delving in other issues that the Zanu PF and Zec legal teams should stop nit-picking on technicalities and address the issues raised by Chamisa, their prayer that it’s dismissed on technicalities is a bit far-fetched,” he said.

35 Comments

  1. sure ,becoz they went with their opposing papers yesterday wen it is a holiday

  2. sure ,becoz they went with their opposing papers yesterday wen it is a holiday

  3. This is very very inappropriate for lawyers to be making comments for a case which is now before the courts, what is this mpofu guy up to, at one time he called a press conference telling all with ears to hear that he will preside over his client inauguration ,now he is concluding that the case he has before the courts will be ruled in his favor, i do not get it.

    1. You are one of the few level-minded Zimbabweans who comment on this site. Your observation is just factual. Interestingly, the Newsday does not cite cases where Justice Malaba also threw out court challenges on the basis of a technicality, and Advocate Thabani Mpofu actually praised the same Judge for doing that! Generally, our newspapers have sunk so low. Journalists cant research.

      1. What you are failing to get is they cited this case because its the most relevant one and very similar to the one before the courts right right now…presidential election petition. 2ndly Thabani Mpofu is not commenting on the merits of the case he rightly says yo will see the overwhelming and ambarrasing evidence in the papers we have filed.

  4. Rine manyanga hariputirwi #Godisinit

  5. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Zimbabwe should know that we have well trained computer specialists who are capable of hecking the ZEC sever and phish information doctor and leave doctored information, like what happened. Such people can put the country into a chaotic situation. The V11 that had been brought by agents should be treated with caution because they dont know how to keep exhibits, they can adulterate figures. An official document only comes from the respective office. We will however wait for the court outcome.

    1. ZEC has several servers Sir you can hack one which everyone I mean all ZEC staff are using but the main one with ZIMBABWE inside is not connected Baba,they only connect and update it under guard,wait and see when they start.Thats why there are several voters rolls baba .
      All those Lawyers will be shocked when real data from ZEC and their V11 forms start to crack.

  6. for too long in africa election were being stolen where the dictators get away with it now if zanupf is fair and they have won elections fairly let the case be head let justice prevail its time to know the truth we want it settled according to reality and evidence provided i know zec is shaking zanu lawyers must stop hiding by the finger let the case be heard

  7. I need to be educated.Where the V11 forms not security documents. If thet were how did someone get hold of them? So can’t anyone then just produce his own?

    1. V11 forms are a numerical report of out turns (agreed results) generated at each individual polling station. At the close of voting, ballots are countered and the results are entered on V11 forms in the presence of all interested parties. Names and signatures (of Presiding Officers and agents) are appended and each key rep is handed a copy to take back to their party. Another copy is then publicly displayed outside the polling station for the generality of the public to see. So, no, people cant just produce their own (unless they are in cahoots with everyone else (including ZEC yacho)

  8. V11 are forms left in the hands of the agents once signed off. I doubt MDC Alliance have the right data because their intention has never been good from the word go. They have doctored their V11 forms to suit their grant intetion. I wonder kuti hu pastor hwa Chamisa hwakamira sei bz if what he displays in politics is a reflection of the pulpit then God forbid. Heaven is too far from us.

  9. Titimetani Gezani Makakatlule

    The MDC A should take time to introspect and correct their many mistakes going into the election.Elections shld always be won thru the ballot not the courts.In Chiredzi South where i live MDC A did not even conduct a single mean rally or gathering of just ten pple at least.All they did was to put up posters on trees and prayed pple would see them and vote for the MDC A.Talk of all other Chiredzi and Mwenezi Constituances,no rallies by the Chamisa guys and you expect to win,kuti wakaitei nhai?Takarasiswa ne MDC A kuno kuChiredzi imbosiyanai nekuita marallies enyu kumatowns mumbouyawo kuno KuMalipati,Chilotlela,Maranda,Chinyu,Mateke Hills then you can talk of a clear win against Zanu Pf.Musarambira mumatarred areas kunge zvipipipi zvemishikashika.Now you talk of kubirwa election,get real guys makadyiwa.

    1. @Titimetani
      Did the Gukurahundi Party hold rallies on every inch of Zimbabwean soil? How come they were declared the winner? In fact, the MDC Alliance held far more rallies across the length and breath of the country than the Gukurahundi party. So your twisted logic is exactly that – twisted and stupid!!

      1. Iwe ndiwe wakarasika unogara kupiko? ZANU haisi ED, ED haasi ZANU nokudaro marally aED handiwo chete akaitwa neZANU. It held them at cell, branch, district (party districts) and national level. They had their actual voters they knew kwete zvenyu zvekufunga kuti kana vanhu vanzwa nenhamo will vote for Chamisa nyangwe vasingamizivi. That is nonsense.

  10. @elisha anyone outside the presiding court officials accused and complainant can give any comment or their view be it a judge or lawyer as long as they are not involved in the presiding case they can even make a mockup court case for all they case to see any possible outcome

  11. V11 forms or not the case was blown wide open by ZEC in having votes higher than those registered which will easily eliminate the 0.8% awarded to Mnangagwa’s 50.8% leaving him with less than the majority required to rule leading to a re-run of the election

  12. Chamisa lost elections was overconfonfident.

  13. My guess is that the Constitutional Court will look at a wide range of issues not just V11 forms. National security issues are also at stake. It’s not just ED versus Chamisa but a whole nation being held to ransom by a ‘democratic’ process imported from the West. Unfortunately, there is no one standing for the rights of more than 9 million Zimbabweans who didn’t participate in the voting process for one reason or another. All human rights activists and organizations are focusing on the rights of political activists as if they are the only ones with rights. Elections are certainly not the best way of solving our challenges. China uses a combination of election and selection and it has been able to lift more people out of poverty than efforts by the whole western world that tries to use ‘democracy’ as a weapon to either punish or reward developing countries.

    1. Negative, China has a lot of very poor citizens who have no say because of no elections/democracy. It is not true that China has a better lifestyle for its citizens than some of the 1st world countries

    2. China managed to lift more people out of poverty simply bcoz there are too many people in china and obviuosly many of them are poor.

  14. bheveni sibanda

    People just want to dramatize things at the expense of people lives. imagine time ichapera kuma courts apa vanhu varikuda nyaya ye bread and butter issues kwete zvepolitics zvisingaunze mabasa izvi

  15. You were suppose to do a re-count with all stakeholder in 48 Hours after Elections Results Declaration Adv-Thabani Mpofu….to your Tally lone is senseless….your Tally is your own fraudulent count that i can say you were cheating your self in wishful declaration that you Won the Presidential Race….try to do everything on Constitutionality…on Legal Bases…

    1. TheJnrSocialDemocrate

      A recount is not necessary, MDC-A just wants the correct results declared as they where counted.

  16. @Charles Dhewa
    Nonsense. The very idea of a Government as we have; is it African? Everything about Zim is imported; mostly from the West, including the clothes you are wearing and the English you are using to write this stupid message of yours!!

  17. @ bheveni sibanda
    how can you separate politics and economy, the only thing Zanu haichadiwi nevanhu veZim and also how can a country develop with rural area support.

  18. Comment… Saka chanetsa apa chii. The concourt will look at the matter.

  19. Actually in law or court the first thing you try to do is have charges dismissed on technicality. That’s like the first thing every amateur lawyer will look to see if charges can be dismissed on technicality. Why waste time with a case when the case should not even be before the courts. Its just like if a police officer finds stolen property but did not have search warrant , charges can be dismissed on technicality and any lawyer worth his salt first looks at technicalities first to get charges dismissed that law 101

  20. Guys musarwadziwe ne MDC alliance yaendesa nyaya kucourt moti tirikupedzerwa nguwa we want butter, that is nonsense, gore riya makapedza mwedzi makamirira maresults now its only a week makuchemera butter, we want the truth to prevail, wait and see.

  21. Comment…@Chitongo, ndotenda netsananguro yako, ndanzwisisa. Asi vanhu zviwuru makumi mana zvevanhu izvi zvakatadza neyi kuvhota? Uye vanhu vakabatsirwa ava vakanyorwa here zvikonzero? Ko ivo vaChamisa vanoziva seyi kuti makumi mana ezvuwuru zvevanhu ava zvayiisa X pavari kwete pevamwewo makumi maviri ane mumwechete?

  22. Nothing points to panic mode in this article. Why allow the case to go ahead when you can have it thrown out on technical grounds. It saves time and money. It is the first thing all lawyers try to do.

  23. Should read MDC lawyers panic, lets look at their case.
    MDC ignored the constitution by announcing fake results pre ZEC inciting violence, then again by accusing the Judge of fraud reading out the elections, then with one day to ask for a recount they failed to comply with the constitution and again they say they lodged a case within 7 days a lie because high court rules staste to lodge an application proof of service should be attached.
    Now they approach our constitutional court thinking the judges will applaud their contempt of the constitution and court rules. good luck they are definitely in panic mode.

  24. It seems Mboni is too angry to think objectively outside the opposition political box. Using words like ‘nonsense’ and ‘stupid’ shows you are living in the past, full of vulgar language. If you are not careful you will commit suicide on behalf of Chamisa or MDC Alliance who probably don’t even know you.

  25. Negative, China has a lot of very poor citizens who have no say because of no elections/democracy. It is not true that China has a better lifestyle for its citizens than some of the 1st world countries

  26. If you read widely and check your facts you will become aware that China has lifted more than 500 million of its own citizens out of poverty. On the other hand, the West is selling us ‘Democracy’ as if its a commodity. The West is also pouring millions into human rights organizations that have nothing to show except lavish lifestyles. Africans should wake up. Lawyers are hijacking ordinary people’s lives for their own benefit and smiling all the way to the bank.

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