Presidential Election Petition Update – Points Arising From Advocate Lewis Uriri’s Interview today

Source: 15 August 2018Democracy, Elections

We await a hard copy of ED’s Opposing Affidavit to get a complete picture. However, a few points arise from the interview which need further exploration:

a. He argues that Chamisa and his team served the papers a day late, meaning that they will actually be seeking to defeat the Petition on a technicality, as previously suggested and addressed. Such an approach would be explosive and likely cause an implosion, although it would present the easiest way of disposing of the application without placing the bench in a difficult position.

b. He also argues that the Petition is high on political rhetoric and low on evidence, particularly V11 Forms & on the law.

c. He further contends that Chamisa & his team ought to have sought an order compelling a recount to be undertaken. All of this, on paper, appears cogent & equally compelling.

d. I just want to flag up something that I have come across that I feel is highly relevant. This pertains to V11 specific evidence referred to in Chamisa’s Petition. This is referred to on page 125 – 129, in the form of “Sample V11 Forms” titled “Annexure A”, Item number 21, then Item number 28, “Annexure F3” – which is a CD with V11 Forms, appearing on page 151, then Item number 38, in the form of “Signed and unpopulated V11 Forms”, which is “Annexure P”, appearing on pages 176 – 199, then Item number 39, which is “Annexure Q”, titled “Doctored V11 Forms” and appears on pages 200 – 202.

e. It remains to be seen whether or not that adequately tallies with all returns throughout Zimbabwe but certainly, 1) that is evidence which is backing the “rhetoric”, 2) the CD could hold all returns in digital format and, 3) the Petition necessarily puts ED & ZEC in a position where they have to provide their own V11 & V23 Forms which are consistent with what other candidates have as returns and which are capable of contradicting the returns Chamisa and his team have or are claiming to have, so things will get very interesting.

f. It appears to me that both sides are currently embroiled in the equivalence of sabre rattling, motivated by a desire to land a significant psychological blow and demoralise the other side before the action commences.

g. We can now get a sense of ED’s strategy vis-a-vis defeating the petition. It will be – i) deploy the technical argument about lateness in the service of the petition first, then argue that the V11 & V23 returns that are there fatally undermine Chamisa’s case, whilst also suggesting that Chamisa’s team ought to have asked for a recount. The rest of the other claims will be defended as suggested in yesterday’s installment.

Source: Brighton Mutebuka