Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa calls for peace

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa calls for peace

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa calls for peace

Paul Mangwana, a ZANU-PF spokesman, said outside the court: "We are ecstatic..."

However, European Union observers were more cautious, stating that all parties should accept the verdict but also suggesting that President Mnangagwa had benefited from an "un-level playing field".

The opposition alleged that Mr Mnangagwa's 50.7% vote share - which was just 30,000 more votes than the minimum needed for outright victory - was suspicious.

The MDC had accused the ruling ZANU-PF party and the election commission of rigging the July 30 vote, Zimbabwe's first poll since the ousting of Robert Mugabe previous year.

In a first for the country, the proceedings were broadcast live on state television. "Let us all now put our differences behind us", he said. His treatment drew global concern about a crackdown on the opposition in Zimbabwe.

"Specifically, we are going to show Mr. Mnangagwa and the world that the peaceful masses have rejected him", it read.

The unanimous ruling by the apex court was on the basis that MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa did not adduce enough evidence that there was rigging, which benefited Mnangagwa.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Paul Mangwana said the ruling party's lawyers were quantifying the exact amount due to them, but they had indicated an approximate bill of $3 million.

I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all.

That hopeful note clashed with what NPR's Eyder Peralta saw Friday in Harare, an opposition stronghold.

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Malaba found that the MDC Alliance failed to put forward credible evidence of irregularities.

Ahead of the court ruling, the streets around the courthouse in the capital, Harare, were cordoned off by security forces.

Justice Malaba further said if Chamisa had presented the V11 forms from his election agents, a sample analysis with the residue from sealed ballot boxes would have addressed a number of issues such as double-voting, debunked allegations of over-voting and established accuracies of results and data provided by the electoral commission.

Mnangagwa took over for Mugabe after the latter was ousted in November for ordering violence against his own citizens.

Such a scenario is provided for by the Zimbabwean constitution.

"I won the court case before it began", Mnangagwa said on the sidelines of a regional summit in Namibia at the weekend.

The opposition had claimed vote-rigging and sought either a fresh election or a declaration that Chamisa won.

A spokesman has spoken to reporters an hour before the court is set to announce its ruling.

The court's ruling can not be appealed. After a delay for the court to consider the opposition challenge, the ceremony is expected to be held this weekend. The government badly needed a credible vote to help end its status as a global pariah, have worldwide sanctions lifted and open the door to investment in an economy that collapsed under Mugabe.

The 40-year-old opposition leader again said he won the election and that the southern African nation needs fundamental reforms that can not be resolved by five more years of "vacant leadership".

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