ED denies allegations of court manipulation

Zanu PF leader, Mnangagwa announced winner of Presidential elections


HARARE — President Emmerson Mnangagwa has dismissed the allegations that he is behind the court rulings that disqualified some of his election rivals, calling them ignorant.

The Supreme Court on Friday barred independent presidential candidate Saviour Kasukuwere from running in the upcoming polls, upholding a previous High Court decision that favoured Zanu PF activist Lovedale Mangwana.

Mangwana had challenged Kasukuwere’s eligibility, saying he had forfeited his right to contest for any public office by being absent from the country for more than 18 months.

Kasukuwere, a former ally of ex-President Robert Mugabe, fled the country in November 2017 after the military coup that toppled the veteran leader and propelled Mnangagwa to power.

The Bulawayo High Court also blocked 12 parliamentary candidates from the Citizens Convergence for Change (CCC) party, after some Zanu PF supporters claimed they had violated the electoral law by submitting their nomination papers after the deadline of 4pm in June.

Kasukuwere, who was once Zanu PF’s political commissar and seen as a potential threat to Mnangagwa’s re-election bid, has accused the incumbent of orchestrating his ban.

Similarly, CCC has alleged that Mnangagwa has captured the judiciary by offering them generous loans and firing judges who resisted political interference.

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere on Thursday said the current regime was worse than Mugabe’s, who “never tried to blatantly remove opponents he knew he would lose against from the ballot”.

When asked to comment on the accusations, Mnangagwa said he had nothing to do with the court cases against his opponents.

“Those who claim that I am using the courts to thwart my opponents should go and demand a refund from their schools, because I have never taken anyone to court and I am not involved in any court process.

“If they make such allegations, it shows they lack education,” Mnangagwa said at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport as he returned from Russia.

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