Mnangagwa 'will remain president even after the much-anticipated court ruling', says Zim VP Chiwenga

Zimbabwe's vice president Constantino Chiwenga has reportedly said that nothing will change the election of Emmerson Mnangagwa as president of the southern African country, despite an opposition Constitutional Court petition challenging the vote.

According to NewsDay, speaking at Inyati Imhenyu Farm in Banket early this week, Chiwenga said Mnangagwa would remain president even after the much anticipated court ruling on Friday.

"We are happy that you voted for President-elect Mnangagwa, who will be the President of the country after the court (ConCourt) hearing... Nothing is going to change," Chiwenga was quoted as saying.

"Some of us no longer want to hear about elections. Elections are behind us."

Chiwenga's utterances came as Zimbabwe's top court was set to rule on Friday on an opposition bid to have presidential election results thrown out over alleged rigging in favour of Mnangagwa.

'There is a massive cob-up'

An AFP report said that the Constitutional Court in Harare would hand down its verdict at 14:00 after considering arguments put before judges on Wednesday, with analysts predicting it would rule against the appeal.

Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition argued that the results should be annulled due to "massive doctoring" of the July 30 vote.

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"There is a massive cover-up. There has been a massive doctoring of evidence," Thabani Mpofu, representing the MDC, told the court Wednesday.

Mnangagwa, of the ruling Zanu-PF party, won the election with 50.8% of the vote - just enough to meet the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.

Thembinkosi Magwaliba, representing Mnangagwa, dismissed claims that the opposition had produced any evidence of fraud.

"This application was not seriously done. The applicant is clearly flippant," he said.

Nine judges, led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, heard the case in Harare, amid tight security.

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