Zimbabwe presidential inauguration delayed amid court challenge

Zimbabwean opposition official Tendai Biti

The Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that his country is open for business, but this new law - the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act - could scupper those plans as far as the USA is concerned. "All proceedings are suspended pending the determination of the Constitutional Court".

Mnangagwa's inauguration planned for Sunday was postponed until the court makes its ruling. Mnangagwa's inauguration will take place 48 hours after the Constitutional Court announces its decision.

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

The party is demanding either fresh elections or the instalment of their candidate Nelson Chamisa as president. "We are seeking a declaration to the effect that the presidential election was not properly conducted", MDC party lawyer Thanbani Mpofu said.

In his application court challenge, Chamisa cited Mnangagwa as the first respondent, ZEC, and all other 22 presidential contestants as respondents as well.

Under the constitution, a losing presidential candidate has seven days to challenge the result from when a victor is declared.

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

The president, the ZANU-PF party and the electoral commission have denied all charges of cheating.

"I am confident they have no case", Zanu PF PF legal secretary Paul Mangwana said. "But if they want to meet us in court we have sufficient legal minds to meet them squarely in court".

It said it had received numerous complaints of intimidation, often by men in military uniform, of voters thought to have backed the opposition.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, established under the 2013 constitution, on Friday released a damning report into the post-election crackdown.

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.

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