David Coltart speaks on Chamisa vs Mnangagwa judgment

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David Coltart

MDC Treasurer General David Coltart says the circulating judgment purportedly being the full Chamisa vs Mnangagwa election petition judgment is poor and riddled with inconsistencies.

Chamisa lost the election petition against Mnangagwa in August 2018 and the court was yet to issue the full judgment.

Said Coltart, “It is hard to believe that trained, experienced, judicial officers could have written this judgment. For now, I will wait confirmation that this is the official judgment and will give the above named Judges the benefit of the doubt until then.”

Read the full statement below:

I have just had a quick read of a document which purports to be the judgment handed down by Chief Justice Malaba in the case Chamisa versus Mnangagwa, some 14 months after the application was dismissed.

The document I have read concludes as follows:

CONCLUSION

In the final analysis, the Court found that the applicant failed to place before it clear, sufficient, direct and credible evidence to prove the irregularities he levelled against the Commission. He also failed to prove the allegation of electoral malpractices he levelled against the first respondent. The applicant did not prove the alleged irregularities as a matter of fact. It would be unnecessary in the circumstances to ask and answer the question whether the alleged irregularities affected the result of the Presidential election.

It is an internationally accepted principle of election disputes that an election is not set aside merely on the basis that an irregularity occurred. There is a presumption of validity of an election. This is so because as long as the election was conducted substantially in terms of the constitution and all laws governing the conduct of the elections it would have reflected the will of the people. An election can only be set aside if it is proved on a balance of probabilities that the irregularities shown by clear and credible evidence to have been committed by officers of the body charged with the duty to conduct the election in accordance with the law of elections affected the result. It is not for a court to decide elections; it is the people who do so. It is the duty of the courts to strive in the public interest to sustain that which the people have expressed as their will.

GWAUNZA, DCJ: I agree
GARWE, JCC: I agree
MAKARAU, JCC: I agree
HLATSHWAYO, JCC: I agree
PATEL, JCC: I agree
BHUNU, JCC: I agree
UCHENA, JCC: I agree
MAKONI, JCC: I agree”

If this is the official judgment it is an exceptionally poor judgment riddled with inconsistencies and faults. To give but one example the superficial manner in which the Court dismisses the allegations regarding the non compliance by the ZBC and other State owned media of section 61(4) of the Constitution is simply shocking. It is hard to believe that trained, experienced, judicial officers could have written this judgment. For now I will wait confirmation that this is the official judgment and will give the above named Judges the benefit of the doubt until then.Source – Byo24

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