Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has filed submissions in the land’s highest court opposing a court challenge to his victory by main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday. 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 brought back uncomfortable reminders of its violent past. Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabwe to unite behind him but questions remain over the death of six people in an army crackdown on protests against the ruling party’s victory.
Chamisa has said the vote was rigged and has challenged the result by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which gave Mnangagwa 2.46 million votes against 2.15 million votes for the 40-year-old Movement for Democratic Change leader.
Paul Mangwana, the ruling party’s legal affairs secretary and one of Mnangagwa’s lawyers said Chamisa would now be required to respond to Mnangagwa’s application before the matter is set down for a hearing.