Zimbabwe President elect Emmerson Mnangagwa smiles in the garden of The State House in Harare on August 3, 2018, at the end of a press conference. Mnangagwa defended the landmark election in which he was declared victorious, despite claims from the opposition of vote-rigging. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI
Agence France-Presse

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday welcomed a court ruling endorsing his election victory after judges threw out an opposition bid to overturn the results over alleged ballot fraud.

“I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all,” Mnangagwa said on Twitter.

“Let us all now put our differences behind us. It is time to move forward together.”

WIN VALIDATED

Chief Justice Luke Malaba, in his ruling at the Constitutional Court in Harare, said Mr Mnangagwa was validly elected as the opposition failed to provide evidence of electoral malpractice.

“In the final analysis, the court finds the applicant has failed to place before it clear, direct, sufficient and credible evidence” of irregularities, Chief Justice Malaba said on Friday.

“Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is duly declared winner of presidential elections held on the 30th of July 2018.”

FRAUD

Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition had argued that the results should be annulled due to alleged “massive doctoring” of the vote.

Mnangagwa, of the ruling ZANU-PF party, won the election with 50.8 per cent of the vote — just enough to meet the 50 per cent threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3 per cent.

Thembinkosi Magwaliba, representing Mnangagwa, had rubbished claims that the opposition had produced any evidence of fraud.

“This application was not seriously done. The applicant is clearly flippant,” he said.

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