Zimbabwe's Opposition to Challenge Presidential Vote Result

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s main opposition alliance said it plans to challenge last week’s presidential election results in court, saying it has evidence the vote was marred by fraud.

“There is no way we can allow this kind of process to go unchallenged,” the party’s lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, told reporters in the capital, Harare on Wednesday. “The evidence is just overwhelming and that is embarrassing.”

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says its presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, won the election, though the official Zimbabwe Electoral Commission gave him 44 percent. The MDC says the result was rigged.

Mpofu told reporters their challenge of the presidential election that elected the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s Emmerson Mnangagwa would go to the country’s Constitutional Court “even if we’re in prison garb.” Mnangagwa won the presidential election with 50.8 percent of the vote, just enough to avoid a run-off.

Earlier Wednesday, police arrested former Finance Minister Tendai Biti. Biti, who heads the People’s Democratic Party, formed part of the opposition MDC-Alliance that challenged Zanu-PF in the July 30 general election. He was arrested at Zimbabwe’s northern boundary with Zambia, at the Chirundu Border Post, his lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo said by phone.

Biti is being held at Chirundu by the Zambian authorities for safekeeping and will be returned to Zimbabwe, Zambian Foreign Minister Joseph Malanji said in a phone interview from Lusaka.

“The grounds under which he wants to seek asylum into Zambia do not merit to be granted asylum,” Malanji said. “He’s required to answer charges at a legitimate court in Zimbabwe.”

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