South Africa’s Advocate Dali Mpofu is reportedly set to lead a legal team to challenge Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF party’s victory in the just ended elections – on behalf of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.
The MDC vowed earlier this week to overturn in court, Mnangagwa’s narrow election victory, alleging that he won the historic vote via “mammoth theft and fraud”.
An AP report said that the southern African country’s first election since Robert Mugabe’s ousting had been marred by rigging allegations, the army opening fire on opposition demonstrators killing six people, and accusations of a security crackdown on opposition supporters.
The MDC had until Friday to lodge its suit after Mnangagwa – formerly a close ally of Mugabe – won 50.8% in last week’s vote, just scraping in above the 50% run-off threshold.
Under Zimbabwean law, the deadline for filing the challenge was Friday. The Constitutional Court must rule on the petition within 14 days.
According to SABC, Dali Mpofu confirmed that his team will include renowned Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.
This came as the state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Thursday that government was going ahead with preparations for the inauguration of Mnangagwa on August 12, “in line with the constitution”.
The report quoted Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi as saying that government could not stop inauguration preparations on the assumption of perceived challenges by other parties.
In another report, the Herald said on Friday that President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was also the current Southern African Development Community (SADC) chair had confirmed his attendance at Mnanagwa’s inauguration.
The report said that President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana was also expected grace the occassion, together with two former presidents of that country – Seretse Khama Ian Khama and Festus Mogae.