If not satisfied go to court, Tsvangirai told Minister Chinamasa
Cde Chinamasa

Cde Chinamasa

Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai must go to court if he is dissatisfied with the results of Wednesday’s harmonised elections, Zanu-PF has said.
Electoral courts were set up countrywide to deal with poll-related disputes. The embattled MDC-T leader — smarting from a severe hiding in the harmonised elections that saw his party lose over 50 seats to Zanu-PF — said he would not accept defeat, claiming the elections were a nullity citing unsubstantiated irregularities.
International observers, including the African Union and Sadc, have since endorsed the elections as peaceful and credible.

With 28 of out of the 210 National Assembly constituencies to report in, Zanu-PF had garnered 136 seats to MDC-T’s 46, amid indications the remaining constituencies were in Zanu-PF strongholds and were likely to catapult the revolutionary party beyond the 160 seat mark.

Addressing a Press conference at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare yesterday, the party’s deputy secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa said there was no basis for disputing the poll results.

“If there is anybody, whether a presidential candidate or National Assembly candidate who is dissatisfied, the courts are there.
“The Constitutional Court is there, the Electoral Court is there. I want to invite Mr Tsvangirai to avail himself to these constitutional provisions if he has any grounds to justify what he is saying to all of you.

“If there is any ground, I tell Mr Tsvangirai to feel free to employ the best lawyers, I know the MDC has some of the best lawyers, take your grievances to the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Cde Chinamasa, who is also the Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, said Mr Tsvangirai could only challenge the polls in the courts after announcement of the final results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

“My plea to Mr Tsvangirai is he should have recourse in the Constitutional Court. He should await first the announcement of the results.
“We all know the results because the counting was done at each polling station. We have counted and we know how far we have won. What we are waiting for is the pleasure of hearing it from TV,” he said.

If anyone challenges the poll results in the Constitutional Court, its decision is final.
Cde Chinamasa said such a challenge must be done within seven days from the announcement of the election results.

He said the Presidential winner can only be sworn in after a ruling of the Constitutional Court in the event the results are contested in court.
Cde Chinamasa dismissed the notion by one European journalist that the courts were biased in favour of Zanu-PF.

“That is rubbish. The truth of the matter is that we do not decide who the judges are. As Ministry of Justice, how do I know the best lawyers? All names come from the Judicial Service Commission,” he said.

Cde Chinamasa said MDC-T has a habit of accepting court judgments only when they were in its favour.
He dismissed assertions that the election could have been manipulated by ZEC.

“What some of you may not know is that the composition of the current commission, the ZEC, is tripartite. It is not Zanu-PF. We negotiated and we have persons appointed as commissioners drawn from the MDC-T, MDC Ncube and Zanu-PF. So they cannot be any doubt about their neutrality. If there are any challenges, it is nothing to do with political motivation. Zanu-PF, MDC -T and MDC Ncube are co-owners of ZEC. I can understand if criticism of their partiality or lack of partiality is coming from parties that were not represented in Parliament. For those who were in Parliament, this is our baby. ZEC is our baby. Any criticism alleging impartiality and bias are uncalled for, unwarranted and have no basis. I congratulate ZEC for their professionalism,” Cde Chinamasa said.

He dismissed as fiction reports by some private and international news organisation that a million voters were turned away.
“To say a million voters were turned away? Please try to show that you have mental balance. A million is the whole of Harare,” Cde Chinamasa said.

He said it was also illogical to claim that Zimbabwe did not comply with the Sadc Guidelines governing the holding of credible and democratic elections.
“We are the only country which incorporated into our electoral law the Sadc guidelines. I was the Minister of Justice and I personally incorporated that. There is nothing you can talk to me about Sadc guidelines.”

Mr Tsvangirai claims the elections did not meet Sadc and AU guidelines.
Cde Chinamasa dismissed MDC-T assertions that the elections were “a sham and a farce” saying one could not say so when an estimated 3,9 people million voted – the highest turnout in the history of Zimbabwe bettering only the 3,1million who voted in the referendum.


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