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Constitutional Court to Rule on Tsvangirai's Election Petition

  • Jonga Kandemiiri
  • Chris Gande

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku

The Constitutional Court will Tuesday make a ruling in the case in which MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is disputing President Robert Mugabe's landslide victory in the July 31 elections, despite the opposition dropping its challenge saying it would not get a fair hearing, especially after failing to access crucial polling data.

Mr. Mugabe's lawyers argued Monday the hearing should go ahead despite Mr. Tsvangirai's withdrawal of the court petition.

MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said his party cannot be forced to go ahead with the court challenge, adding the bench wants to use the case to strengthen Mr. Mugabe's assertion that the vote was legitimate.

Mr. Mugabe's attorney, Terrence Hussein, said a challenge to the presidential vote cannot be withdrawn under the constitution.

The Constitutional Court refused to accept Mr. Tsvangirai's withdrawal of his election petition saying it did not comply with the country’s laws.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku and eight other judges reserved judgment on the
matter to Tuesday.

Mr. Tsvangirai last week sought to withdraw his petition saying he had failed to get the material he needed from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to support his court case challenging the July vote results.

Mwonzora told VOA his party is not bothered by the court’s decision.

“The court is trying to force us into a hearing and we are not worried by that. We will let them do what they wish but we will not be part of it,” he said.
Commenting, Job Sibanda, a legal expert, said the Constitutional Court’s decision is unheard of.

"This is the first time that I have heard that a court can force someone who does not want to proceed with a case to do so even though they are prepared to pay for the costs, it is truly unheard of," said Sibanda.
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