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Published: August 16, 2013
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai today announced he was withdrawing the legal challenge at the Constitutional Court challenging election results, a decision that now paves way for Mugabe to be inaugurated as president for the 7th term.
Tsvangirai and his MDC – T party had mounted a legal challenge alleging that the elections were rigged by Mugabe and ZANU PF.
In a letter of notification Tsvangirai’s legal team said,”We refer to the above matter and write to advise that the above Petition scheduled for 10:00 hours on Saturday 17th August 2013 has been withdrawn. A Notice of Withdrawal is filed for record.
“In the circumstances, kindly ensure that the presiding Justices of the Constitutional Court are advised urgently in order not to put them to the inconvenience of preparations.”
Tsvangirai says he cannot successfully bid his case after the High Court denied him timely access to election materials.
Tsvangirai and his legal team had launched a separate legal challenge at the High Court seeking permission to access all materials used in the just ended elections including sealed ballot papers. This they said would be used to prove before the Constitutional Court that the election was rigged.
In his withdrawal affidavit Tsvangirai noted that he had been compelled to withdraw the petition due to be heard tomorrow at the Constitutional Court following a High Court ruling to reserve judgement indefinitely on his request to access election materials.
In an affidavit undertaken this afternoon Tsvangirai said,“As at time of deposing to this affidavit (15:43 hours on Friday 16th August 2013), the judgement in the Applications for materials had not been delivered. This in my view seriously handicaps my prosecution of the petition and it has rendered it impracticable for me to proceed with same.
“ I draw attention to the same that i had specifically indicated in my petition that such material would be needed for the purposes of prosecuting the petition. The fact that i still do not have the material means that i cannot meaningfully prosecute my petition,” said Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai noted that Mugabe’s pronouncements and declarations at the Heroes Day commemorations in front of the same judge who was to hear his case seriously jeopardised his chances to a fair hearing and outcome.
“I am also aware the first respondent addressed crowds at the national Heroes Acre during the Heroes Day celebrations on AUGUST 2013. I am further aware that he made certain unsavoury comments in which he criticised my decision to approach this court. The fact that the Chief Justice was in attendance on the day and the fact the he is expected to preside over my petition does very little to inspire my confidence in the possibility of my enjioyment of the constitutional right to a fair hearing. In this regard i make no imputation, gratuitous or otherwise , about the integrity of the honourable Chief Justice. My concern is with the conduct of the first respondent[Mugabe].”