You can go to court! re-elected Mnangagwa tells Chamisa in election fraud row

You can go to court! re-elected Mnangagwa tells Chamisa in election fraud row

By Associated Press

Zimbabwe’s re-elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa has suggested people questioning the results of the national election, which an opposition leader dismissed as a “gigantic fraud”, take their case to court.

The election commission said on Saturday Mnangagwa, 80, had won the election with 52.6 per cent of the vote while the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa received 44 per cent.

Mnangagwa took over when longtime strongman Robert Mugabe was toppled in a 2017 military coup.

His first term was marked by runaway inflation, currency shortages and sky-high unemployment.

Mnangagwa welcomed the election result.

“I competed with them and I am happy that I have won the race,” he said at State House on Sunday amid a heavy police presence in parts of the capital.

“Those who feel the race was not run properly should know where to go to.”

Chamisa, speaking on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, said: “It’s a blatant and gigantic fraud.”

Opposition CCC leader Nelson Chamisa on Sunday

It was unclear whether the opposition would use the courts to dispute the election results, as Zimbabwe’s judges have historically sided with the governing party.

Political analyst Munjodzi Mutandiri, from the Southern Africa Liaison Office, said the opposition had more to gain by taking to the streets than to the courts.

“The questions around judicial independence won’t cure the legitimacy challenge (of the results) just as (the electoral commission’s) impartiality and perceived lack of independence have created” the disputed results, he said.

CCC spokesman Promise Mkwananzi said in a statement the official results differed from those tallied by the opposition.

“The CCC has initiated a comprehensive citizen’s review of the vote count,” he said.

An observer team from the Southern African Development Community said voting was peaceful but noted issues including voting delays, the banning of rallies, biased state media coverage and the failure of the electoral commission to give candidates access to the voters’ roll.

Mnangagwa accused the observer mission of overstepping its mandate.

“I am aware that some observer missions went beyond their call of duty,” he said.

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