Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Zimbabwe court grants Tendai Biti bail

MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa Zimbabwe presidential inauguration cancelled until court makes decision
Pablo Mccormick | 11 August, 2018, 04:56

The filing of the petition also means Mnangagwa's inauguration, which had been scheduled for Sunday, will have to be cancelled until the court renders a decision on the matter.

Two days after the vote, six people were killed in an army crackdown on protests against the victory by Mnangagwa's ruling ZANU-PF party, a reminder that Zimbabwe will struggle to fix its image as a nation known for repression and economic collapse.

Should the alliance petition be filed today, the inauguration will be guided by Section 93 (3) of the Constitution which speaks of the court having to determine whether the President-elect has been elected correctly and if so, after the judgment has been passed, inauguration has to happen within 48 hours.

BMI Research, a Fitch think-tank, has warned of prolonged social unrest and slow pace of economic reforms owing to the disputed outcome of polls held last month in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared victor.

"Zanu-PF will defend the will of the Zimbabwean people as expressed through free, fair, transparent and credible elections that took place on 30 July".

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According to the SABC, Dali Mpofu confirmed that he would lead the MDC leader's legal team, which includes another renowned South African Advocate, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

"We will rest when this country is liberated", Jameson Timba, the MDC's chief election agent, told journalists standing outside.

The Constitutional Court, which can declare a new victor or order a fresh election, must rule within 14 days of an election petition.

On August 1, soldiers opened fire on MDC protesters, killing six people and sparking an global outcry. Elections are not won in court, they are won in the field.

"Zimbabwe faces a bad threat from a group of people that has no respect for the law", Biti, who was granted bail Thursday, told the court. He was released on bail and will appear in court again on Friday.

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Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter that Biti was released after he intervened personally in the case.

It said it had received numerous complaints of intimidation, often by men in military uniform, of voters thought to have backed the opposition.

But the MDC Alliance say the security forces have launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition following the disputed poll.

"We call on Zimbabwe's leaders to guarantee Mr Biti's physical safety and ensure his constitutional and human rights are respected".

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