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Friday, May 7, 2021

Nelson Chamisa has a formidable case against Mnangagwa

Columns Nelson Chamisa has a formidable case against Mnangagwa

Prof Michelo Hansangule
Prof Michelo Hansangule

By Prof Michelo Hansungule

Nelson Chamisa has a formidable case against his opponent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, presumed winner of last week’s presidential elections. Politics aside, Chamisa’s election petition confirms his remarks earlier in which he declared that he had won the 2018 elections.

Chamisa’s petition chronicles a litany of allegations of irregularities and blatant violations of the Constitution and the electoral Act by ZANU PF.

There are at least three killer punches in the petition which really would leave Mnangagwa scampering for cover.

First is the accusation in paragraph 4.5.14 against ZEC Chairperson Judge Priscilla Chigumba that after she was appointed Chairperson by President Mnangagwa on 1st February 2018, she celebrated the appointment on February 3 by accepting President Mnangagwa’s now typical insignia the scarf of the Zimbabwe flag which was Mnangagwa’s.

Wearing this scarf, Judge Chigumba in breach of regulations prohibiting ZEC staff wearing materials associated with one of the candidate’s campaign material.

Second is allegation that Chamisa’s election agents were not called to sign the presidential results before they were announced as required by law.

Viewers who watched the ZEC announcements of the presidential results will recall the drama that took place shortly before the ZEC returned to the podium to announce the last outstanding results, Chamisa’s election agent also MDC Chairman took to the floor to announce that he had not signed the results.

In the petition, Chamisa avers that this was after the ZEC CEO promised to call the agent so that he can verify and sign the results before they were announced yet Judge Chigumba and her colleagues proceeded to announce the results ignoring the statutorily mandatory signatures only to ask for them after the announcements.

Third is the unbelievable allegation in paragraph 6.5.3 that even based on their own figures, the results they announced do not match.

He alleged ‘…..The evidence attached hereto and marked ‘1 Series’ shows that more people than were registered voted. ………..Further, there are polling stations where ZEC there was a plus 90% turnout. This is unimaginable. In those areas where there was a plus 90% turnout, first respondent (Mnangagwa) was given a total of 352 897 votes……….’. He attached ZEC’s own analysis sheet.

The petition makes several other allegations including the biased role of the security forces which he accused of promoting the interests of only the ruling party. In particular, he mentions the deplorable event of Wednesday 1st August when the military opened live fire in Harare in response to unarmed MDC demonstrators who were calling for release of the results.

It is common knowledge that since independence ZANU PF has been using the army and other security forces to maintain their grip on power. This is what Chamisa is talking about when he complains about the role of the security forces during the elections. Of course it was good for the army to step in as they did and remove Mugabe from power because without that act, Mugabe would still be in power. No one, not even Mnangagwa would have removed Mugabe from power had the army not done what it did.

Everyone agrees that it was too much Mugabe had to go.  But removing Mugabe from decades in power is one thing and trying to illegally keep power under the facade of Mnangagwa or is it Chiwenga is quite another. There was absolutely no basis for the army to have used live ammunition on civilians on 1st August.

Besides the security forces, Chamisa makes several allegations against the conduct of state media which is another well-known story of primitive bias. Just like in Zambia, state media in Zimbabwe have no clue the difference between ‘state media’ and ‘government media’. During elections, so-called ‘state media’ behaves like it is ‘government media’ openly biased in favour of government which is illegal.

Distribution of seed and other farming requests especially to people in rural areas is another serious allegation raised in the petition. He argues that distribution of farming inputs to people in rural areas under the facade of empowering rural people unduly advantaged the first respondent. Anyone with basic knowledge of rural areas in Africa and particularly with massive poverty levels in these areas should easy understand the reason behind sudden ‘love liaisons’ between governments and people during elections. Coupled with strong relationships between chiefs and governments in these areas, and the influence chiefs exert on people in their areas, the story is complete.

Of course we are still to hear from Mnangagwa and ZEC their responses. The issue, however, is that based on previous election petition judgments, Chamisa no doubt has an edge over Mnangagwa.

In previous election petitions, judges in several jurisdictions have dismissed petitions challenging results of elections on the ground that while there were irregularities and even illegalities, overall the elections were substantially free and fair. What this means is that courts mean is that no election is free of irregularities and that courts are not there to nullify every election based on proof of any irregularity.

But this is different in the case of the Chamisa-Mnangagwa election. Mnangagwa’s win was only with the slightest of margins. In previous case law, courts have if the difference between the loser and the winner is very large, they will be reluctant to invalidate the election merely upon proof of an irregularity. This is also in line with the decision of the George Bush versus Al Gower case in which the court seems to have suggested that election petitions in their nature are political.

But again, this case is different. It is not even the difference between Mnangagwa and Chamisa which is at issue but the .3% margin of victory Mnangagwa allegedly got over the 50% constitutional threshold to avoid a run-off which is the issue.

Based on a litany of African cases such as from Shehu Shagary case in Nigeria, the 2001 Col. Dr. Besigye Case in Uganda through to the first Raila Odinga versus Uhuru Kenyatta case, the principle has been the same, namely, that courts can interfere with the electoral body’s declaration in circumstances where there is proof or material irregularity which if it had not occurred, the result would be different.

Imagine if Chamisa manages to prove ay of the allegations he has made, namely, that it did occur and that it was material to the outcome which ZEC announced, obviously it could lead to a different result.

But of course there are other factors key among which is the judiciary and particularly how independent it is? We are victims of this in Zambia. The other is the elephant in the room i.e. the military.

This makes the elections in Zimbabwe not just a simple case of elections. But there is no doubt that this is a test case in Zimbabwe and looking at the issues the petition raises, a test case for the way in which elections should be conducted in Africa as a whole.


  1. Yes he might have a case.

    I do think he is not matured for this role though.

    I pray that Zimbabweans make the right decision in choosing their leaders.

    They could end up with corrupt gangsters like Zambia.

    • Agreed but it wont go anywhere He is about 40 years old that alone is a disqualification even though he is eligible on paper.

      Africans wouldn’t want a 40 year old ruling them

      Shame really


    • He should have made 80% votes, so there is no room for all tricks.
      Chamisa lost, he still have 5 attempts in next 20 years.

    • Kenneth Kaunda was 38 years old when he began to rule Zambia. Mugabe was 56. John F Kennedy was 44. Age is not important. It is substance.



    • Maturity start when you plan your first date. You people you are all brain damaged by these old leaders. These leaders got no vision for young people. Chamisa chete chete.
      Zanu of uses colours on Zimbabwe flag for their own regalia therefore Zec CEO was not suppose to wear such piece of clothing, if it’s a national unifying clothing why other 22 candidates never used it.

  2. Prof Michelo Hansungule, you are someone who is very close to the UPND leaders and you are one of their legal advisors but if you are really smart, how come you failed to file in the appeal in the last elections like what the Kenyan and Zimbabwean losing parties have done?? They have shown us they really have some “evidence” unlike some of you who sing about the evidence you have but have failed to produce any. UPND cadres, you can now start insulting me because I know truth hurts.

    • Zambian courts are corrupt and they fear for there jobs .Zimbabwe will be cleaned because of USA there are watching petiently #Nelson chamisa

    • Prof. Hansoni! Despicable Tribal Chap! Even education cannot remove the tribalism of UPND – Tribal Coalition! If he has a case please write the UN Hagain on your UNiversity letterhead arguing that he has chance!

  3. If this is what Chamisa has presented as killer punches then he has lost it. First is the accusation in paragraph 4.5.14 against ZEC Chairperson Judge Priscilla Chigumba that after she was appointed Chairperson by President Mnangagwa on 1st February 2018, she celebrated the appointment on February 3 by accepting President Mnangagwa’s now typical insignia the scarf of the Zimbabwe flag. The electoral Act is only triggered during the period designated as election period. Which period did the Electoral Commission designate as the 90 days election period? Secondly, is the national flag a campaign symbol or a national symbol? Is there any person not authroised to wear material bearing a national symbol?

    • Hit the nail on the head!
      Actually mnangagwa wears the flag as a unifying symbol fate the military coup. It doesn’t matter how the opposition interprets this action. The flag is a national symbol simple, UPND minds awee sure.

  4. Also as regard to the second allegation that Chamisa’s election agents were not called to sign the presidential results before they were announced as required by law, is also a weak link….should the nation be held at ransom if a particular election agent decides to deliberately ignore signing at totalling centre? Were the results forms signed at source?

  5. Just a name “Prof Michelo Hansangule” would tell you everything and know that his thinking is as bad as Kainde!!!

  6. What Chamisa needed to focus on is showing the court that his party’s tally of results as received from the source constituencies and wards were different from what was announced….that is where the meat is

    • @6 Ze Biggy, that is “THE ELEPHANT IN ROOM” for MDC going by Hansungule’s own way of referring to the Military in Zim Politics! These are figures we have waited forever in our case here in Zambia to hear about!! Similar to the Zim case, no election monitor has come up with substantive irregularities that can sway the win in favor of MDC! UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN THEY LOSE THE PETITION,THAT WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF REAL TROUBLES AS SOME MEMBERS WILL JUMP BOAT WHILE BITI WILL BE LANGUISH WITH COURT CASES. MDC made huge gains,at Presidential level, it could have paid them well in future to be ” good losers” than rabble rousers they have become. This shows that THEY MAY JUST BE DOING THINGS AT THE COMMAND OF OUTSIDERS and may lose credibility!

    • @6.1 zambiaisours. I totally agree with you. The courts need the numbers. The court needs to know whether the reason for failure to sign off the forms bearing results was because of the discrepancies in tallying. Otherwise, the rest kuwayawaya fye. Zimbabwe Independent Election monitors, SADC and others put the election results margin at +/-0.5%. The electoral commission put it at +0.8%. So, only numbers contrary to the electoral commission would speak loudest, and potentially force a re-run

  7. Aahhhaa Ba Hansungule, HOW DO YOU SEE these as very strong points without interpreting with them with respect to the law? HOW DOES 90% voter turnout with majority of votes going to one candidate amount to rigging without proof that the 90% was fictitious?? WE SAW THIS IN 2016 IN ZAMBIA,FIGURES WITH SIMILAR VOTER TURN OUT IN ONE PROVINCE WHICH BOOSTED THE OPPOSITION, CAN WE THEN SAY THAT RIGGING WAS PERPETRATED BY THE OPPOSITION?The scarf is national symbol with a country’s flag,NOT a party symbol so any Zimbabwean can wear it!! If MDC election agent REFUSED TO SIGN ON THEIR OWN DEFEAT, should the ZEC hold the nation in suspense forever,especially when violence was being perpetrated by the same MDClosers??

  8. I the well meaning people of Zimbabwe will do well to celebrate the fact that elections were held peacefully. The anomalies pointed out by our Prof. must never be a basis for annulling any election at all. They should just be documented as areas fro future improvement. Ladies and gentlemen even USA has never delivered a perfect election. Donald Trump only kept quiet because he won!!! Zimbabweans please don’t allow yourselves to be deceived by people who will run away at the first shot of a gun!

  9. Hansungule and his fellow upnd cadre in America are just loud but empty mouths worthy neither regard nor attention by anybody whatsoever.

    • HaSPakata has a point because HH has a point and Handulo and Hansoni too! The organization has a point from the tribal perspective. Therefore, they have a chance to win in 2021.

  10. To summarize the nonsense by the professor : If a hostile party forms government in Zimbabwe it will make running government by PF difficult or even impossible resulting in Upnd getting advantage.


  12. How and Y did his MPs looooooose
    Chamisa would be impeached at the first sitting of parliament. PF has absolute majority



    …_They sold the soul to the devil: it’s now deliver the country or your soul_

    By Mweemba Habazoka

    The United Party for National Development (UPND) was formed in December 1998. The Party turns 20 years old in December 2018. Today its desperation has reached an all-time high because time is running out for them to either deliver the country or their soul. The patience of their 20-year-old-financiers have continued to wear thin and thin by the failure of the party to deliver as per their promise despite the financiers’ unwavering financial commitments that resulted in its leaders’ immense wealth which they stand to lose as per deal they signed almost 22 years ago in the run up to infamous privatisation exercise in Zambia. The…

  15. Look at the PF rats above all in defensive mode incase chimesas petition draws similarities to the bidding of the UPND petition ?

    Why are you rats worried ? Let the courts of Zimbabwe decide , looks like the rats together with lungu wanted Mugabe to still be power….

  16. “ONLY A TONGA MUST LEAD UPND” says Sejani. Useless Tonga professor. Just by looking at the name Hansungule i felt disgusted.

  17. No UPND lawyer can lecture us on this . They failed just to count 14 Days!!! Why have you failed to present the case to the Constitution Court but you go around from court to Court. May be you should have taken your case to the local court. Had you known what to do we woulld have been in power today!!

  18. The Prof and I have known each other for a long time. Those of us who know him can hardly remember him ever appearing in a court of law. The end result is that he is now reduced to a political commentator more so given his biased inclination on matters. He has picked the smoke and left the fire and then states ‘he has a good case!’ is this the advise they gave their Adolf when he thought by addressing the court at midnight he had graduated from law school?. Sometimes its best to be silent and continue to offer lecturers and not pretend one understands the nuances of practicing law….this maybe a mountain too high for him to climb. Let the ZIM courts rule just as we let the American court do their work in Algore v Bush

  19. I was waiting for the point when professor hansungule would refocus this on Zambia kikikiki. 14 days were given, but UPND lawyers were only after money, so the delayed the filing with nonsense application, after nonsense application. Zambia is far advanced compared to banana republic Zimbabwe. Our Judiciary is supreme.

  20. Its a shame this Prof fails to observe simple etiquette in civilized debates.
    He is jaundiced in that he is quick to comment without proper facts from ZEC or his own analysis of the data.

  21. Very dull professor. Those look like very weak points as they do not increase or decrease any candidate’s numbers at all. Its shameful we have DULL professors

  22. He is a Profeesor by making bright students write his papers. He should have waited or even keep quiet because he does not understand half of what he has written or talked about. For me he goes right in the front page of the not so streetwise “Professors” but opportunist.

  23. Is this tribal thing still a professor? The one which does not know university letter head and personalletters, and its callled professor? And it can give a legal opinion on petitions?

  24. Prof Lazy Jay j, please advise your tribesmate. Twatendwa. The thing said the same on h.h’s petition today it is an expert?

  25. zimbabwe even in its worst form is better than zambia democractically. The zimbabweans have followed the rule of law and have allowed the petition to be heard and yet they are classed as one of the worst democracy in the world. Meanwhile in zambia people are so dormant and see nothing wrong with PF stamping on their rights to be heard. Zambians are easily taken for granted. Wake up my friends

  26. All I read here is hate against the Tonga people. Hansungule is not a microcosm of the Tonga. He is a product of our university. He is expressing an opinion and the best intellectuals do, if there be any, is to debate the merits or demerits of his thoughts. This is the opportunity Lusaka Times has lost the ability to attract quality discussions where we can learn from the learned. Unfortunately, visiting this site is like moving out of Leopards Hill Memorialk Park; nothing positive but sadness. Could these be symptoms of a biting economy where people will bark at anything that moves? What does a name of a person have to do with free thinking? Has this country degenerated to those levels of hatred? Are he Tonga so powerful that people can’t sleep without through tantrums against them? I…

  27. How you keep voting for him while other tribes reject him

    How come his predecessor was accepted by other tribes and won the election . Nobody hates your tribe. The greater majority just feel insecure because losing 6times and chimbokaila has turned him into a wounded buffalo

  28. #29 JJP, you doubt that “prof” Hansungule is really not an academician? Well, what else is he when he has rebealed his tribalism without being asked? You haven’t read what he writes or says?
    He can only f.oo.o you ba JJP!!!

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