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August 20, 2013

Zimbabwe Court Upholds Mugabe's Election Victory

by Sebastian Mhofu

Zimbabwe’s highest court has dismissed a case challenging President Robert Mugabe’s re-election last month and upheld the re-election of longtime leader.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku told a packed courtroom Tuesday that Mugabe had been elected in accordance with Zimbabwe’s laws. He made the ruling while dismissing an application that had been filed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost the July 31 election.

Terrence Hussein, the lawyer for Mugabe, said, “We are quite happy because it has brought stability and certainty. We can now all move on. I think we all now know who our president is for the next five years.”

Mugabe will be sworn in no later than Thursday, thus extending his 33-year rule over Zimbabwe by another five years.

The 89-year-old Zimbabwean leader had not been sworn in despite the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declaring his victory over Prime Minister Tsvangirai, 61 to 34 percent, in the disputed election. But Tsvangirai's MDC party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora maintains that the election was stolen.

“We had withdrawn this application. We will continue to struggle for justice in this country. We have not been accorded justice. We are preparing to govern the country. We do not recognize this election. This election was a monumental fraud,” said Mwonzora.

Last week Tsvangirai withdrew the election challenge, protesting the refusal by the election commission to release all materials that had been used in the polls.
 
Meanwhile, a lower court has recommended the National Prosecuting Authority consider whether recent statements by Tsvangirai were in contempt of court. His lawyers risk being prosecuted for reportedly failing to advise the Prime Minister not to withdraw the election results court challenge.