‘Chamisa petition fatally and incurably defective’

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‘Chamisa petition fatally and incurably defective’

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa’s petition challenging the July 30 presidential election results which declared President Mnangagwa the winner is “fatally and incurably defective” to nullify the results.

Mr Chamisa has approached the Constitutional Court claiming that ZEC engineered the presidential election results in favour of President Mnangagwa.

But ZEC chairwoman Justice Priscilla Chigumba said no valid application has been filed by the MDC-Alliance leader challenging the election of Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa to the office of the President of the country.

She said this while responding to Mr Chamisa’s petition lodged with the apex court last Friday. Mr Chamisa, Justice Chigumba said, not only failed to comply with the court rules, but filed an uncompleted record to render his petition invalid.

“He has failed to effect valid service of his application within the prescribed seven-day period,” she said.

“His application is thus fatally and incurably defective and ought to be struck off the roll.”

Justice Chigumba, in her response, alluded to rule 23(2) of the Constitutional Court Rules that the application provided for in terms of Section 93(1) should be filed with the Registrar of the Constitutional Court and served on the respondents within seven days of the date of announcement of the election results.

“Both such filing and service within a seven-day period are constructive of the proper lodging of a challenge to the election of the President,” she said.

“Any filing and service that is done outside that timeframe is accordingly invalid with the correlative effect of rendering the entire application fatally and incurably defective.”

Turning to Mr Chamisa’s claims of malpractices by ZEC, Justice Chigumba said there was no basis for the conclusions made that there were constitutional and electoral law violations she committed in the administration of the July 30 harmonised elections.

She said Mr Chamisa’s founding papers have not proven an irregularity as alleged and all he makes are bare allegations.

“The conclusion made by the applicant from this bare allegation is that the electoral commission rigged the presidential election with no evidence given to show the alleged rigging,” she said.

Justice Chigumba said Mr Chamisa should make out a full case in his papers and if he brings bald and unsubstantiated allegations, his application cannot possibly succeed.

The ZEC boss further argued that if Mr Chamisa had polling agents at the unidentified polling stations he claims did not have the returns affixed, those agents would have been given V11 forms before the return for the polling stations is posted outside the voting booth in terms of the law.