9 August 2018

Zimbabwe: Inauguration Preps On Course, Says Ziyambi

Photo: ZBC TV Screenshot
Emmerson Mnangagwa taking the oath of office (file photo).

Government is going ahead with preparations for the inauguration of President-elect Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa on August 12 in line with the Constitution, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, has said.

The law says following the declaration of presidential results, inauguration should happen on the ninth day should there be no court challenge from other contestants.

As of yesterday, no political party or presidential candidate had filed court papers challenging results of the presidential polls.

Minister Ziyambi told journalists in Harare yesterday that Government could not stop inauguration preparations on the assumption of perceived challenges by other parties.

MDC-Alliance has indicated that it would challenge the results within the seven days provided for by the law.

Minister Ziyambi said should the alliance challenge the results, the inauguration would stop and wait for court processes that should be completed within 14 days.

"What the law says is that after a general election according to Section 94 of the Constitution, the President-elect must assume office on the ninth day following the declaration of the results," he said.

"So, this is the process that is supposed to be followed to prepare for the inauguration on the 12th which falls on Sunday. But should the MDC-Alliance file a Constitutional Court application within seven days, the effect is that the inauguration will be stayed and we wait for the Constitutional challenge and once the Constitutional Court make its determination, it can make several decisions -- should it declare that the results must stand, then the inauguration must happen within 48 hours of that judgment having been given.

"It can nullify the results in which case there has to be a fresh election within 60 days. So, those are the scenarios that are there. So, what is happening now (is) Government does not stop working because of perceived electoral challenge that has not been filed. So preparations will continue in compliance with the Constitution for the inauguration on the 12th of August."

Minister Ziyambi continued: "If they file their electoral court challenge, the Constitution then says within 14 days the Constitutional Court must give its verdict and that verdict is final. The net effect is we will no longer be following the nine-day period, we will now be guided by the determination by the Constitutional Court that is within 14 days, they must dispose of the application and once they have done, that inauguration has to occur within 48 hours of that judgment having been given."

Minister Ziyambi said a threat to sue would not stop the preparations.

"The preparations are going ahead because no court challenge has been filed," he said. "By yesterday, there was nothing that was filed. So, we cannot stop those processes because we have to abide by the Constitution.

"But should a Constitutional application be made by the alliance either today or tomorrow, I have not calculated the seven-day period, then what happens is provisions of Section 94 sub section (1) will be suspended.

"We will now be guided by provisions of Sub section (2) which speaks of the court having to determine whether the President elect has been elected correctly and if so after the judgement has been passed inauguration has to happen within 48 hours."

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