‘Elections done and dusted’ . . . no provision for a re-run
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa and Zanu PF will not give away their unassailable electoral victory in the just ended harmonised elections as Zimbabwe’s Constitution does not provide for a re-run of elections at the behest of a losing political party or candidate, let alone an international organisation.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the law was clear on the legal remedies available to an aggrieved political party or candidate and an opposition party-induced electoral re-run is not one of them.
Minister Ziyambi said this yesterday while responding to calls from the opposition CCC that there must be a re-run of the presidential election supervised by Sadc, the African Union and United Nations among other organisations.
President Mnangagwa, who was Zanu PF presidential candidate, was declared winner on Saturday night after he beat his closest rival, CCC presidential candidate, Mr Nelson Chamisa, who has typically refused to accept the result claiming that the election was rigged without providing any evidence.
The opposition party has also made another bizarre claim where they want the disbandment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), the body in charge of electoral processes, saying it should surrender its electoral management role to Sadc and the UN.
Sadc Election Observer Mission chairperson, Dr Nevers Mumba, has also come under fire for straying into areas that are beyond the mandate of the Mission by interrogating legislation that was passed by the country’s Parliament in exercise of its sovereign and constitutional obligations.
In an interview, Minister Ziyambi said the claims by CCC and its cohorts were ridiculous as they are coming from sore losers.
“Section 93 (1) of the Constitution is clear about what an aggrieved person must do. They must file a petition within seven (7) days of declaration of winner by ZEC. Our Constitution is also clear that we hold an election once every 5 years. That has been done. There is no provision for another election as demanded by CCC,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“Section 93 (3) requires the Constitutional Court to hear and determine the petition within 14 days. The decision of the court shall be final. There is no reason for His Excellency, President Mnangagwa and ZANU PF to give away their win. If anything, Zimbabwe as a sovereign State cannot be pressurised to change its Constitution or domestic laws by a regional or international observer mission or SADC itself or the European Union.”
He said one other argument being advanced by CCC of irregularities was not valid and will not pass any legal test.
“Any lawyer knows that the irregularity argument will not wash. There are many cases in that regard. No election is 100 percent perfect. The test is one of substantial compliance. Even Dr Mumba in his preliminary report accepted that the electoral environment was calm and peaceful, but some aspects fell short of the requirements or expectations of the Constitution and SADC Guidelines.
“The classic case is (ironically) to be found in the US ie Al Gore v George Bush. Remember the electoral fiasco in Florida. But were the elections annulled? No,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“So we do not have a provision in our laws to have the UN, AU or SADC to come and conduct elections in Zimbabwe.”
Meanwhile, the Council of Apostolic Churches of Zimbabwe has added their voice in congratulating President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF for the electoral victory.
CACZ president, Bishop Clement Karikoga Chisango, said the victory was a result of President Mnangagwa’s tried and tested leadership whose life changing developmental projects have transformed communities.
“We wish you and your party, Zanu PF, a developmental, successful and progressive five-year mandate bestowed upon you by the people of Zimbabwe in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” said Bishop Chisango, whose organisation is an umbrella body of indigenous Apostolic and Zion Christian churches.
Bishop Chisango commended President Mnangagwa’s efforts to create working synergies with the church in the country, saying such initiatives showed that he was a God fearing leader.