HARARE-(MaraviPost)-PRESIDENT-ELECT Emerson Mnangagwa, whose victory was upheld by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Friday reached out to his nemesis MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for dialogue and peace-building ahead of his five-year term.
Soon after a unanimous court decision confirming his victory in the electoral challenge by Chamisa, Mnangagwa took to his official Twitter page to call for peace and unity and subsequently invited Chamisa to work with him.
“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’s time to move forward together,” he said.
Mnangagwa said he had expected the decision the court finally made given that even independent elections watchdog Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) had confirmed the victory.
“We were not surprised by the court’s decision. The election results were firmly in line with all pre-election polling and entirely consistent with the final tally of Zesn, the largest body of local independent observers,” he said.
In a move to dispel allegations that the courts were biased and could have been arm-twisted to confirm his victory, the President-elect hailed the independence of the judiciary.
“We have independent courts and we promised to respect their decision. Just as with the insights received from international monitors, we will accept and implement all recommendations to further improve our democratic process,” Mnangagwa said.
The Zanu PF leader also commended Chamisa for submitting himself before the courts of law and condemned the violent protests which caused the loss of seven lives following Zec’s delayed announcement of presidential results on August 1.
“After the wholly unnecessary violent protests, we welcomed the legal route which the MDC eventually took to challenge the elections,” he said.
Chamisa, through his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda, said he was in a meeting which was considering the way forward after the court ruling.
“We are in a meeting that is considering those things at the moment and can only give you our response after that meeting,” Sibanda said.
However, highly-placed sources said the MDC Alliance was unwilling to work with the Mnangagwa administration.
“I don’t think after what has happened in this country, president Chamisa will be willing to work with Mnangagwa. How can a democratic party work with a President who shot people in cold blood? Unarmed civilians? That will not happen,” the source said.
MDC director of communications Luke Tambarinyoka said the ConCourt ruling had saddened many Zimbabweans, but indicated Chamisa would respect the ruling and live to fight another day.
“Zimbabweans have just received with a heavy heart the Constitutional Court’s verdict that Emmerson Mnangagwa was legitimately elected President of Zimbabwe in the just-ended harmonised plebiscite,” Tamborinyoka said.
“For the record, president Nelson Chamisa and his legal team mounted a formidable case on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, a case of chicanery and electoral pilferage that was vindicated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s embarrassing revision of its own declared results for a record three times … ultimately, the people shall govern.”
Zanu PF politburo member Patrick Chinamasa said Mnangagwa’s inauguration would now take place tomorrow following the ConCourt ruling, with the opposition