In delivering a summary of the judgment on Friday, Chief Justice Luke Malaba cited lack of evidence on the part of the petitioners and failure to discharge the burden of proof on them.
“It is not for the court to decide elections, it is the duty of the people…therefore the application is dismissed with costs. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is duly elected President of Zimbabwe ,” said the Chief Justice.
I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all. Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first.
MDC had insisted that its candidate Nelson Chamisa won the November 30 presidential election, arguing that the president (first respondent) had benefitted from irregularities in the voting process.
In a series of tweets following the verdict, MDC said his party respects the rule of law and consequently the verdict of the court.
‘‘Our unstinting belief in the rule of law means we shall not only respect the verdict of the Bench but we shall also doggedly pursue all constitutionally permissible avenues to ensure that the sovereign will of the people is protected and guaranteed,’‘ Chamisa tweeted.
We call for peace in our land & above all we call for the veneration & protection of the people’s sovereign expression which was unequivocal in the just-ended harmonized election. The sombre mood in the country in the wake of today’s court verdict is in itself a telling statement
— MDC Zimbabwe (@mdczimbabwe) August 24, 2018
Chamisa himself tweeted saying the party will ‘listen listen to you on the path of peace & course of action to be taken’.
‘‘I hear your cries & feel your pain. I know you feel cheated, but take heart — your victory is not lost,’‘ read part of the tweet.
I hear your cries & feel your pain. I know you feel cheated, but take heart — your victory is not lost. Your will is sacred & we’ll listen to you on the path of peace & course of action to be taken to rescue our beautiful Zimbabwe from the jaws of poverty, corruption & dishonesty
— Nelson Chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) August 24, 2018
Mnangagwa reaches out to opposition
President Mnangagwa also used his Twitter account to say his party was ‘not surprised by the court’s decision’.
Mnangagwa called on the opposition to work with him for unity, peace and the progress of Zimbabwe.
‘‘I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all. Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first.’‘
I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all. Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first. Let us all now put our differences behind us. It is time to move forward together. (4/4)
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) August 24, 2018
After a tense, hotly contested election, the first in the post-Mugabe era, where at least six people were killed in post voting violence, Zimbabweans reacted to the court versict with anger and resignation at the fact that they are being called upon to move on and put the electioneering period behind them.
I guess this generation will have to make a lifetime task of entangling Zimbabwe from the jaws of those who don’t have the interests of the people & future generations at heart. We must continue to fight hard to win the battle for the soul of this nation.
God bless Zim 🇿🇼
— Fadzayi Mahere (@advocatemahere) August 24, 2018
The Chief of Zimbabwe said his court “believes in facts, not figures”. He said this in a matter involving elections where numbers are at the centre of the dispute. It’s the most embarrassing statement you can ever hear from the highest custodian of the Constitution and the law.
— Alex T Magaisa 🇿🇼 (@Wamagaisa) August 24, 2018
l think l am in pain but l don't have the primary evidence to back up my opinion. Maybe its all but a dream : Zimbabwe
— Clever Kuda Mlambo (@mlambo_clever) August 24, 2018