Zimbabwe opposition mounts legal challenge against election result

Zimbabwean police officials look at detained civilians as they stand in an armored vehicle outside MDC party headquarters in Harare

"At the moment, we are not moving forward because according to the Constitution we should wait for seven days after declaration of the results so that if there is anyone who wants to appeal against the results, they do so", President Mnangagwa said.

Two days after the vote, six people were killed in an army crackdown on protests against the victory by Mnangagwa's ruling ZANU-PF party, a reminder that Zimbabwe will struggle to fix its image as a nation known for repression and economic collapse.

Zimbabwe's former finance minister and opposition leader Tendai Biti appeared in court on Thursday to be charged with stoking post-election violence in a case watched around the world as a test of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's treatment of opponents.

"Our legal team successfully filed our court papers".

Analysts say the legal challenge has little chance of success given the courts' historic tilt towards the ZANU-PF, which has ruled since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

Mr Mnangagwa won 50.8% of the vote compared with Mr Chamisa's 44.3%.

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, it is reported.

The party must prove any irregularities were widespread enough to change the outcome of the vote.

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, his lawyer told Reuters news agency on Friday. We have a good case and cause!

The first election since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a coup in November had been expected to end Zimbabwe's pariah status and launch an economic recovery but post-election unrest has reminded the country of its violent past.

"With the opposition criticising the results as fraudulent, several global observers highlighting irregularities with the conduct of the election and violent clashes between the protestors and national security forces, we see some risk that the election fails to offer Zimbabwe a fresh start".

The results of the presidential election were announced on Friday last week by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The Court has ordered that Mr. Biti is to surrender passport & title deeds and report twice a week to police, not to interfere with witnesses or address political gatherings.

Prosecutors accuse him of fuelling illegal protests by rejecting Mr Mnangagwa's victory in the fiercely contested elections.

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