MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offer for dialogue after the acrimonious presidential election was concluded last Friday as the opposition leader insisted he was the legitimate winner of the July 30 polls.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Friday dismissed Chamisa’s petition challenging the Zanu PF leader’s victory after the judges unanimously ruled that he did not provide enough evidence to overturn the election outcome.
After the ruling, Mnangagwa took to Twitter posting: “Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched.”
Chamisa yesterday told journalists in Harare that while he respected the ConCourt ruling, it did not solve what he termed a legitimacy crisis facing the president.
“Mnangagwa must know that the court decision is not the people’s decision,” he said.
“We have a majority in the urban areas. Over 50% of the people do not believe in Mnangagwa.
“We control over 90% of those who contribute the tax revenue. Mnangagwa must understand the reality in this country.
“We have a disputed election, a legitimacy issue and a constitutional crisis around the elections in Zimbabwe.”
Chamisa, who got 44,3% of the vote against Mnangagwa’s 50,6%, claims the election was rigged.
Yesterday he said Zanu PF was not celebrating because the party knew the election was stolen from him.
“The first problem we must resolve for this country to move forward is the return to legitimacy. Let the will of the people be respected. Zanu PF could not celebrate because they know it’s fiction. President Mnangagwa knows who won the election,” said Chamisa.
“Vice-President [Constantino] Chiwenga is convinced of who won the election, ask him. They must give the people of Zimbabwe the actual election result.”
Chamisa said the ConCourt ruling did not mark the end of their challenge against Mnangagwa’s election.
“We are sticklers to rule of law, constitutionalism and democratic practices,” he said.
“We felt we needed to exhaust all the available constitutional remedies within the confines and dictates of peace.
“The legal route has led us to a dead end in the context of the result of that court, which does not accord with the legitimate case we put before the court.
“We respect the ConCourt not only because it is expected to respect issues of law and constitutionalism.
“I am alive to my professional code to respect the decisions of the court. These do not mean accepting.
“I respectfully disagree and reject the position that was arrived at by the ConCourt.”
He said regional leaders who would attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration today would be endorsing an “illegitimate leader”.
“We cannot resolve these issues with a disputed leader. Mnangagwa is a disputed leader,” he added.
“I have legitimate claim that I am supposed to be leading the people of Zimbabwe. Sadc and AU may come, but they will be simply endorsing an unacceptable outcome.”
He said he could not negotiate anything with Mnangagwa before the election dispute was resolved.
There was speculation that there were behind-the-scenes negotiations that could culminate in a deal that might appease Chamisa and the MDC Alliance.
“You cannot steal my goats and then ask me to come and share them with you,” Chamisa said when asked about the alleged talks.
“Give me the goats first, then we can talk about sharing.
“I wrote to Mnangagwa before the elections and the only response I have seen was a tweet from a handle I don’t know whether it’s his.
“I wrote to Sadc and the AU and we have not received any response.
“We hope they will attend to our issues.
“A phantom inauguration will not change the reality.”
Chamisa said insisted they had evidence that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission rigged the election, which could have been obtained through a subpoena against Zec.
The MDC Alliance wanted the court to force Zec to allow them access to their server so they could scrutinise the election data.
“Our subpoena would have revealed why we insist we won this election by 2,6 million votes and that President Mnangagwa got less than two million votes,” Chamisa added.
Chamisa said he was shocked that the ConCourt had not quizzed Zec on why it had declared three sets of results and other anomalies raised by his legal team.
He argued the ConCourt had confused his representatives by insisting on re-opening of ballot boxes when the same court had ruled against this a few years ago.
“In the (2013 Jameson) Timba case, the MDC-T went to the court to seek a re-opening of the election residual material,” Chamisa said.
“It was ruled that one cannot ask for the re-opening of election ballot boxes, but now the same court says we should have requested for the re-opening of the ballot boxes.
“But we did not want this as we had a clear case and did not need the election material,” fumed the opposition leader.
Chamisa hinted the MDC Alliance could roll out protests against Mnangagwa, saying “the legal route is not the only route to freedom”.
Meanwhile, Chamisa’s lawyers will reportedly launch a petition with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights protesting against the way the ConCourt handled his case.