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Zimbabwe opposition readies Mugabe challenge

Zimbabwe opposition readies Mugabe challenge

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Published: 6 August 2013

HARARE, Harare Province (AFP) – Zimbabwe’s defeated presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday prepared to mount a legal and political challenge against the “sham” election that looks set to extend Robert Mugabe’s 33-year rule.

Tsvangirai’s allies have announced they will launch a constitutional court challenge against the results of Wednesday’s election, which handed Mugabe a thumping 61 percent of the vote.

“Our lawyers are very busy at work. We will be lodging the presidential challenge before Friday,” Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told AFP.

The case could delay 89-year-old Mugabe’s inauguration for another five-year term.

Once the complaint is lodged, the country’s top court has 14 days to reach a decision.

Western nations, including former colonial ruler Britain, voiced serious doubts about the election while the regional SADC bloc said it was “free and peaceful” but stopped short of describing it as fair.

But MDC insiders acknowledge that finding a smoking gun for electoral fraud and navigating the notoriously polarised court system with be a fiendishly difficult.

The ruling ZANU-PF has welcomed the prospect of a court challenge over the vote — the first since bloody 2008 elections led to the formation of an uneasy power-sharing pact between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

“What they are doing is a good thing, it’s a wise road to take,” ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said, expressing confidence the challenge will fail.

Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said that given the 61-34 percent vote split against Tsvangirai, his chances “are non-existent, completely non-existent”.

“It’s not a margin that normally gets challenged in court.”

It is the third time that Tsvangirai, a 61-year-old former union leader, has tried and failed to unseat Mugabe.

Mwonzora said the MDC is preparing a “dossier of all the rigging that took place and we will put it in the public domain to show the people how the election was stolen.”

The MDC has called for post-election an emergency summit of the regional bloc Southern African Development Community (SADC) after the group gave the vote a thumbs-up, but deferred on calling the election “fair”.

South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday extended his “profound congratulations” to Mugabe on his re-election after a “successful” vote while his Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba also welcomed the vote.

“The people of Zimbabwe have once again demonstrated their trust and confidence in the Zanu-PF and your party leadership,” he wrote in a letter to Mugabe.

The MDC’s Mwonzora — who himself lost his seat — expressed regret at the verdict of Zimbabwe’s neighbours.

“We discovered that the SADC and the African Union equate absence of bloodshed in elections to free and fair elections, which is an incorrect way of looking at things.”

The MDC had more support further afield, with the United States and European nations including Britain condemning the election, and Australia even calling for a re-run.

Mugabe and his allies still face a number of Western sanctions.

The Zimbabwe stock exchange plunged 11 percent on Monday, the first day of trading since the results were issued, with foreign-owned stocks registering steep losses.

The MDC also took a hammering in the parliamentary vote, winning just 49 seats out of the 210 up for grabs — down more than half from its 2008 performance — against 160 for Mugabe’s party.

Analysts say if the MDC is to rebound politically in the face of its defeat, it needs to completely rebuild.

“It needs a comprehensive introspection… just as ZANU-PF did when it was almost on its knees in 2008,” said University of Zimbabwe political analyst Eldred Masunungure.

“That may entail leadership review especially at the top,” he said.

Mwonzora however dismissed suggestions that it was time Tsvangirai was replaced as party leader.

“We stand solidly behind Morgan Tsvangirai as our president,” he said. “The MDC is regrouping, we are gearing for a fresh election whenever it comes.

“If there is anything which has reunited us… (it) is this theft.”

Aggrieved MDC parliamentary hopefuls who are alleging fraud are due to have their complaints heard by the electoral court.

These must be heard and settled within six months but will not stop the swearing-in of deputies.

Source :


Posted by: NJABULO

NO TO VIOLENCE–ARTICLE BY NJABULO[IMPARTIAL AND APOLITICAL]
The Zimbabwe elections at a glance; Why did MDC T lose the elections?.
It is not a reasonable and best option to take to the streets. We have seen what that course of action yields. Egypt is a good epitome of this and other countries that followed suit. We do not want people to die for nothing(sanctity of life). That is a stupid and perilous advice to the nation. The only option is to take the issue to court if any party is not content with the outcome of the elections .Now you tell me what is going to happen to the people if there is mayhem in Zimbabwe? I think the person who is for this idea should start himself or herself. We do not want anyone to die for nothing. It is important that people value life. If you incite people to engage in such dangerous activities, then the person inciting them should be able to face the law if anyone dies. Every life is important9sanctity of life). It is foreseeable to any man with a sound mind that such action would yield nothing but only death, destruction of property(criminal damage) and other heinous crimes. So, should a peaceful people of Zimbabwe engage in such a course of action?. Let us be reasonable. This is like putting suicide bombs on children of others to go and die yet you leave yours to live. A very cynical idea indeed.
Why did MDC T lose the elections?.(contributory negligence)
When MDC was formed or launched, there was harmony and solidarity in their political party. Then they started to fight each other.MDC became polarised. By doing this they betrayed the trust of their followers. Those were the first signs that indicated that its leadership had failed to live up to its expectations and promises that it made to its followers. What happened next? MDC lost a lot of its supporters. What happened next? They lost the elections to ZANU PF. What happened next? They blamed ZANU PF for rigging the elections. What happened next? There were further divisions in the MDC Party .Their party was dichotomised .Thus we have MDC T and MDC N. What happened next? Their party lost a lot of supporters. What happened next? ZAPU PF and other political parties were formed .What happened due to this ?MDC T and MDC N had to share their supporters with these new political parties. A lot of people that used to identify or were politically affiliated to the old ZAPU PF of father Zimbabwe which merged with ZANU PF to form a Unity Party ,reverted to CDE Dumiso Dabengwa’s ZAPU PF PARTY. What happened next? The people of Zimbabwe were/are confused as to which political party to follow. What happened next? They joined ZANU PF. In particular the rural folk. Most of the urbanities chose to join any of the ZANU PF opposition parties. Others reverted to ZANU PF. What happened then ? ZANU PF gained a political mileage. What was the other causes for ZANU PF to gain strength? It is because of the land issue. A lot of people in the urban areas are ambivalent when it comes to the land issue. By dint of analogy , it appears that MDC T did not explain properly its intentions or policy of the land .That is giving a good answer as to what they were going to do .Again, the idea of reversing the indigenisation policy instituted by ZANU PF ,is one major factor that put a dent to MDC T and MDC N. So if you are a prudent person ,please ponder over the above facts .You will come to conclude that the allegations of vote rigging are nothing but malicious. You will come to conclude that, MDC is the author of its problems in this case. In fact any reasonable person should be blaming both MDC Parties for betraying them.(note that i am impartial in this).
It is the right of every citizen of Zimbabwe to express their political ideas. Thus it would be more ideal to make a new beginning in MDC T .For example ,when the Labour Party in lost the elections in Britain ,to the Conservative ,they changed their leadership. In USA ,Obama was chosen as a candidate in order to win the elections against their opponents. If MDC is to win ,then it too must employ the same strategy. That is choose a new candidate .The then leaders are to relinquish their positions in the next elections. This does not mean i am undermining the ability of the then MDC T President. But the truth is that the man at the helm of each political party in any state matters most. We have seen what happened to the short lived government of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. We have also seen what happened and what is obtaining in various states in the world were similar political dilemmas exist. There is nothing new or wrong in bringing in new faces and new ideas .
NB;I am very sorry if my opinion hurts anyone. I am impartial and apolitical. So do not misconstrue me as taking any side with any political party. This is reality.
BY NJABULO [my opinion ,no favour]

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