via FFZE BREAKING NEWS: Tsvangirai Election Case Judgement Reserved ‘Indefinitely’ By Don Gwara and George Mpofu
Zimbabwe’s Electoral Court on Wednesday decided to withhold judgement in the case brought by Morgan Tsvangirai challenging the results of the July 31 elections that his MDC-T party has said was rigged to give victory to President Robert Mugabe.
Presiding Judge Chinembiri Bhunu told the court that he would reserve his decision indefinitely and issue a written judgement at an unspecified date.
President Mugabe won the general election with 61 percent of the vote, to Mr Tsvangirai’s 34 percent. Mr Tsvangirai called the poll outcome a “monumental farce” and applied to the court last Friday to cancel the result and order a re-run. The court had 14 days to decide.
“The honourable judge reserved his judgement and he indicated that he was going to give a written judgement in due course,” Fred Gijima, Mr Mugabe’s lawyer, told reporters outside the Court.
“There is no set down date that has been given in which he is going to hand down the judgement,” he said.
Mr Tsvangirai had asked the court to order the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to provide a forensic examination of the voters’ roll, ballots and voter registration slips.
The party has also applied to the High Court to force the ZEC to produce copies of the voters’ roll and provide the presidential election results for each constituency.
“We need those materials to demonstrate beyond doubt that the election was improperly conducted, to demonstrate that the will of the people is not reflected in that election,” said Mr Tsvangirai’s lawyer Lewis Uriri.
“There must be a reason why they do not want to make provision of those materials and that reason is that they are, definitely in our submissions, ghosts in those sealed materials that they do not want us to access.”
Independent local observers and Western powers have also questioned the credibility of the elections, but regional groups SADC and the African Union were less critical, describing the election as “free and peaceful”.
The judge’s decision to defer a decision indefinitely effectively shelves Mr Tsvangirai’s application. Zimbabwe’s judiciary are generally considered partisan in favour of Mr Mugabe’s ZANU-PF.
The election result gives ZANU-PF a two-thirds majority in the parliament which means it can change the constitution and make laws with impunity.