Judg­ment day

Cape Times - - OPINION -

THE lat­est de­vel­op­ments mean the planned in­au­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, can­not go ahead as sched­uled as the court has to deal with the mat­ter first. The stakes are quite high and it is likely go­ing to be a tense pe­riod for both par­ties as Zanu-PF has at most three days to file their re­sponse ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Our hope is the court deals with the mat­ter ex­pe­di­tiously and with ut­most pro­fes­sion­al­ism and in­tegrity as the des­tiny of the coun­try may as well hinge on its ver­dict. As it is, busi­ness is at a halt as stake­hold­ers fol­low closely what is go­ing to hap­pen. Given the ten­sion in the pre­ced­ing week, it is our hope that the MDC Al­liance has se­cured ad­e­quate ev­i­dence to put up a de­cent fight with which they may be able to win if the court acts fairly and pro­fes­sion­ally.

The Con­sti­tu­tion al­lows the court a max­i­mum of 14 days within which it can deal with the mat­ter.

It is within the pa­ram­e­ters of the ConCourt to ex­er­cise any of the three op­tions that in­clude declar­ing a win­ner – which could be the same or dif­fer­ent from the one de­clared by the Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion – in­val­i­date the elec­tion (and then there has to be a fresh elec­tion within 60 days) or grant any other or­der “just and ap­pro­pri­ate”.

The last op­tion is fairly broad and can in­clude call­ing for a re­count or even a run-off. Most sig­nif­i­cantly, the ConCourt’s de­ci­sion will be fi­nal.

The MDC Al­liance has a tall or­der as it has to demon­strate to the court that, in­deed, there were in­stances in which the law was not com­plied with and show how such ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in­flu­enced the fi­nal re­sults of the elec­tions. Af­ter hav­ing been ac­cused of hold­ing the na­tion to ran­som by play­ing hide and seek, the MDC Al­liance ought to put up a de­cent fight and demon­strate that they knew what they were talk­ing about.

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