THERE were mixed reactions across the country to yesterday’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling on the MDC Alliance presidential hopeful Nelson Chamisa’s bid to overturn the results of the just-ended presidential elections.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/NHAU MANGIRAZI/TATENDA CHITAGU/KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA
Zanu PF supporters took to the streets of Harare, painting the city green as they celebrated their party’s victory and declaration of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the President-elect. Other dejected Harare residents said they will simply move on with their lives after the ConCourt ruling.
After the judgment was delivered, Zanu PF officials from Mashonaland Central could not contain their excitement as they showered Mnangagwa with praises.
“The ConCourt has confirmed the people’s resounding victory for Zanu PF and our President Mnangagwa. We are pleased that our province performed exceptionally well and we deserved to win this case because there was no factual and legal basis for the court challenge, it was a waste of time and simply political grandstanding,” Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha said.
“The people’s voice was clear and loud. Now it’s time to work and turnaround the economy. As a country, we should move ahead united and strong. We should not allow bad losers to cause any disunity or disorder and we must deal with any intention to cause chaos and public disorder or lawlessness decisively.
“Now that the highest court of law in Zimbabwe has spoken, Chamisa and his MDC Alliance must not play any funny and dangerous games. He must publicly concede defeat and earn our respect as a statesman and a true Zimbabwean as he should be.”
Incoming MDC Alliance MP for Zengeza West, Job Sikhala, however, said it was a misnomer for nine judges to decide Zimbabwe’s fate.
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“The destiny of this country is not going to be determined by the ConCourt judgment. It is going to be determined by the people of Zimbabwe, the people whose victory has been stolen, not the nine judges at the ConCourt, but the people on the streets, people in the villages, people in the townships. They know that the victory belongs to them and the election was not stolen from Nelson Chamisa, but stolen from the people of Zimbabwe,” Sikhala said.
“The people of Zimbabwe made their statement very clear that they want change of leadership in this country and when you subvert the will of the people, the consequences are very clear. Mnangagwa stole the election from Chamisa.
“However, despite them being arrogant that they are going to use the power of the gun, but we have seen many dictatorships collapse thinking that the gun will overpower the will of the people. The will of the people will always triumph against evil. We know we are under an evil military junta that is forcing itself against the will of the people and it’s a recipe for disaster. These people won’t survive the next two years,” he said.
However, in Masvingo, there were no celebrations after the court ruling. There was a sombre atmosphere in the city as people discussed in hushed tones how they will suffer for the next five years under Zanu PF rule.
“It’s suffer continue …we knew this was a delayed match. There was no way the court would rule against the incumbent President Mnangagwa, given that some are beneficiaries of the gravy train,” a reveller said in an uptown bar shortly after the judgment was announced.
“There is nothing to celebrate for the general folk, save for more misery. Only the well-connected, who are benefiting or have benefitted from the system will enjoy, not the general folk,” said a vendor based Masvingo.
In Karoi, there were subdued celebrations as most people including civil servants, taxi drivers, business leaders said they were disappointed with the judgment.
Biggie Haurobi said the judgment will divide the nation: “MDC Alliance is an equal partner, but the judgment will not heal a divided nation or rebuild the nation.”
A shop owner who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the prices of basic commodities will go up since Zanu PF has no solution to the cash crisis.
“Nothing will change. We are in fix over this result,” Ernest Bakasa, a taxi driver from Chiedza, said.
A local teacher said people were expecting miracles: “At least it has exposed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as incompetent and unable to run a credible election.”
A few touts and sex workers interviewed by NewsDay Weekender in Karoi said a Mnangagwa win was a guarantee to better life.
“ED will never lose and Zanu PF is the ruling party no matter what,” a tout, Dennis Banda, said.