MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has up to Saturday to lodge a court application to overturn President Robert Mugabe’s election win, but chances of the application being successful are slim, legal watchdog, Veritas said.
Tsvangirai has said he was challenging Mugabe’s win, which he condemned as a farce, null and void.
According to the Electoral Act, the MDC-T leader has up to Saturday to lodge the court application and force a re-run within 60 days of the court’s ruling.
Tsvangirai has alleged electoral irregularities and vote fraud, but an analysis of the Electoral Act by Veritas, indicated that the cited malpractices could not result in the election outcome being overturned.
Veritas is a local organisation that provides information on the work of Parliament and the laws of Zimbabwe.
“Before upholding an election petition, the Electoral Court will need to be convinced by evidence proving the allegations made by the petitioner,” the organisation says in its analysis titled Election irregularities – What can be done about them?
The analysis continues: “Scope for setting aside result limited. The scope for complaint is wide, but the Electoral Act makes it clear that not every malpractice will result in an election result being changed.”
Veritas said the Electoral Act indicates that the MDC-T should prove that President Robert Mugabe and other Zanu PF members personally committed malpractices or personally directed their supporters to commit fraud and rigging to ensure a win.
“Under Section 155, if the Electoral Court, having tried an election petition, finds that an electoral malpractice was committed by the successful candidate, or with his or her knowledge and consent or approval, or by any of his agents or with the knowledge and consent and approval of any of his agents, and if in the opinion of the Electoral Court the effect of the malpractice was ‘such as to have materially affected the outcome’ of the election – the election of the successful candidate is void and a fresh election must be held,” Veritas said.
If Mugabe and other Zanu PF members who won their seats argue in court that “malpractices” were committed without their consent, the election result would stand, Veritas noted.
South African President Jacob Zuma has also challenged Tsvangirai to prove election-rigging.
Botswana, the West, led by the United Kingdom and the United States have condemned the elections as not free and fair and went further to demand a re-run.