Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and leader Nelson Chamisa are suing the ZANU-PF party and election commission over alleged fraud during July 30 vote.
November will be the first election since former President Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following a coup in 2017. The position was filled by Mugabe’s First Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa but Chamisa has filed a petition to challenge his presidency.
“Zec seeks to release results to buy time & reverse the people’s presidential election victory. The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results. We’ve more votes than ED. We won the popular vote & will defend it!” he tweeted.
The legal challenge will be heard by the Zimbabwean court on Aug. 22, but many are concerned about the risk of violence against the opposition and their supporters. On Aug. 1, MDC supporters protested Mnangagwa’s win in Harare claiming that the voting was rigged. The protest led to Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) soldiers firing live ammunition on the protesters, killing six people.
Chamisa’s chances of winning the legal challenge are slim. Historically, the courts have always leaned towards ZANU-PF and the party has maintained its tight grip on the country since 1980.
The win was not an easy one for Mnangagwa, who netted 50.8 percent of the vote to Chamisa’s 44.3 percent.
After hearing the challenge, the judges have 14 days to rule. They can choose to confirm the results, declare another candidate to be the winner or demand a new election. The court’s ruling is final.