Zimbabwe court to hear election challenge on August 22

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The Zimbabwean opposition’s challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory will be heard in the constitutional court on August 22, the opposition leader’s spokesman said on his Twitter account on Thursday.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa says the July 30 presidential vote, the first since the removal of Robert Mugabe last year, was rigged by a biased electoral commission. The electoral commission and Mnangagwa say there was no foul play.

The Constitutional Court can throw the case out, declare a new winner or order a fresh election.

The state-run Herald newspaper also confirmed that the case would be heard on Wednesday next week.

“Mr Chamisa has been directed to file his answering affidavit and heads of argument by 12 noon on Saturday while President Mnangagwa has been given up to 10am on Monday to file his,” the newspaper reported.

The election had been expected to end Zimbabwe’s pariah status and launch an economic recovery but post-election unrest has brought back uncomfortable reminders of its violent past.

Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabwe to unite behind him but questions remain over the death of six people in an army crackdown on protests against the ruling party’s victory.

Reporting by Alfonce Mbizwo; Writing by Joe Brock and Ed Stoddard; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg