Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, and Acting Chief Elections Officer Mr Utloile Silaigwana urged the Constitutional Court to dismiss MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s petition challenging the July 30 presidential election result.
Through their lawyer, Tawanda Kanengoni of Nyika, Kanengoni and Associates the three who are cited as the 23rd, 24th and 25th respondents argue the time to challenge the election result had expired. Said Zec, Chigumba and Silaigwana:
In terms of s93(1) of the Constitution, a challenge to the validity of an election to the office of President is instituted by way of a petition or application lodged with the Constitutional Court within seven days after the date of the declaration of the results of the election. Being a period prescribed by statute, the seven days provided by s93(1) of the Constitution are reckoned with the inclusion of Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The time for lodging a petition in terms of s93(1) thus expired on the 10th of August 2018.
The duo state they were not served with papers since they were cited individually in their official capacities. Said Zec, Silaigwana and Chigumba:
A single copy was received at the Electoral Commission’s offices at Mahachi Quantum Building. No copy of the application was served on me or on the 25th respondent on the 10th of August 2018 or subsequently. Suffice to state that the purported service on the 10th of August 2018 was defective.
Chigumba said allegations that she wore a scarf linked to Mnangagwa are misogynistic attacks on her person and professional integrity by Chamisa and his supporters. The respondents want Chamisa’s petition dismissed with costs.