Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday accepted the outcome of the Constitutional Court’s ruling in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa regarding last month’s hotly-contested polls.
On his part — and as he embarks on the arduous task of uniting and rebuilding Zimbabwe — Mnangagwa himself extended an olive branch to Chamisa to join him in this mission.
In a televised message that was beamed moments after the Con-Court’s ruling, Mnangagwa said Chamisa had a role to play in ensuring that there was peace and unity in the country.
“Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first. Let us all now put our differences behind us. It is time to move forward together,” Mnangagwa said.
The Zanu PF leader, who came perilously close to going into a run-off with Chamisa in the tightly-contested July 30 elections, also praised the MDC Alliance for choosing to use the courts to mediate the dispute.
“After the wholly unnecessary violent protests, we welcomed the legal route which the MDC eventually took to challenge the election.
“We have independent courts and we promised to respect their decision. Just as with the insights received from the international monitors, we will accept and implement all recommendations to further improve our democratic process,” Mnangagwa said.
MDC spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, while describing the Con-Court’s ruling yesterday as devastating, said the party accepted the verdict.
“Zimbabweans have just received with a heavy heart the Constitutional Court verdict that … Mnangagwa was legitimately elected president of Zimbabwe in the just-ended harmonised plebiscite.
“As a party and as an Alliance, we believe in the rule of law and we respect the verdict of the courts; more so the verdict of the people of Zimbabwe who overwhelmingly voted for … Chamisa; for transformation; for opportunities and for prosperity in their beloved country,” he said.
This comes after Mnangagwa was credited with presiding over arguably the most peaceful election process in post-independent Zimbabwe — where for the first time the opposition was able to campaign freely in rural areas.
However, the peaceful environment was marred by deadly violence which broke out in central Harare on August 1 when opposition supporters clashed with police leading to the deaths of six people following the intervention of the army — which used live ammunition to break up the ugly protests.