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Zimbabwe election should be set aside, says Chamisa’s lawyer

Nelson Chamisa's lawyer, Thabani Mpofu, says Emmerson Mnangagwa must establish that Zimbabweans voted for him before he gets the chance to rule the country.

FILE: MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has begun hearing arguments in the presidential petition, in which Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is trying to overturn Emmerson Mnangagwa’s narrow victory.

Chamisa’s lead lawyer says numbers don’t lie, and the election results should be set aside.

Chamisa’s lawyer, Thabani Mpofu, says the [Zimbabwe] Electoral Commission (ZEC) made a declaration based on incorrect results.

He cited what he says is evidence of double collation of results; polling stations that posted identical results that always favoured Mnangagwa and created votes in some constituencies.

Mpofu says Mnangagwa must establish that Zimbabweans voted for him before he gets the chance to rule the country.

The lawyer said a run-off is unavoidable and that the election should be set aside.

WATCH: Constitutional Court proceedings

ZIMBABWE CONCOURT APPLICATION HEARING

ZIMBABWE CONCOURT APPLICATION HEARING

Posted by ZBC News Online on Wednesday, 22 August 2018

‘CHAMISA’S CLAIMS ARE BOLD BUT UNSUBSTANTIATED’

Mnangagwa’s lawyers also took the stand in Zimbabwe’s election petition.

The lawyers say Chamisa hasn’t placed evidence before the Constitutional Court to substantiate his allegations of election theft.

Mnangagwa’s lawyer Lewis Uriri says Chamisa’s claims are bold but unsubstantiated.

He pointed to the fact that Chamisa didn’t ask for a recount or for ballot boxes to be opened.

Uriri says that would’ve disproved the MDC Alliance leader’s case.

He’s arguing that Chamisa doesn’t have direct evidence to back up his claims of electoral fraud, an issue the judges raised earlier in the day.

Mnangagwa’s lawyers have admitted their client got 0.2% fewer votes than initially announced, but they say that doesn’t invalidate the results.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s top court will rule on Friday whether to uphold or overturn Mnangagwa’s election victory.

The chief justice made the announcement in Harare.

Crowds gathered around screens outside the Constitutional Court in the capital on Wednesday afternoon, to watch as lawyers representing Mnangagwa and Chamisa argued their case before nine judges.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)