Chamisa Successfully Files Court Papers

Zimbabwean opposition official Tendai Biti

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, filed a court challenge on Friday against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's election victory, halting Mnangagwa's planned Sunday inauguration.

The MDC alliance filed their paperwork with Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court on Friday, alleging the result of the July 30 vote had been rigged in favour of incumbent Mnangagwa, the leader of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

The election, the first since the army's removal of 94-year-old ex-president Robert Mugabe last November, passed off relatively smoothly but its aftermath revealed the deep rifts in Zimbabwean society and the instinctive heavy-handedness of the security forces.

Judges have 14 days to rule on the case, delaying the inauguration of Mnangagwa which was scheduled for Sunday.

Mr Chamisa tweeted: "Our legal team successfully filed our court papers".

The party must prove any irregularities were widespread enough to change the outcome of the vote. We have a good case and cause!

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She said the United States Government is deeply concerned that Zambia chose to hand over Mr Biti to the Zimbabwean authorities, and in the face of a reported Zambian court order blocking his expulsion from Zambia.

Former minister of education David Coltart added his voice to confirm the filing of the court papers to challenge the presidential results and some constituencies.

The conduct of the election was largely deemed sound by worldwide monitors, but representatives of the European Union noted Mr Mnangagwa, a former long-time Mugabe ally, benefited from an "un-level playing field" and some voter intimidation.

United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols Thursday made a surprise appearance at Tendai Biti's court hearing telling journalists soon after that the decision by Zimbabwean authorities to charge the MDC Alliance politician was "worrisome".

"In the alternative, we seek that there be another election which complies with the dictates of the law", Mpofu said.

"If [the judges] think the evidence is weak they could throw the case out fairly fast".

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