In a unanimous ruling of the nine judges of the country’s top court, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said opposition leader Nelson Chamisa had failed to prove allegations of fraud during the presidential vote.
“Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is duly declared the winner of the presidential elections held on the 30th of July 2018,” Malaba said in his ruling.
The court’s ruling cannot be appealed.
The electoral commission had declared Mnangagwa won with 50.8 percent of the vote but later revised that down to 50.6, attributing the revision to an “error” but arguing it was not significant enough to invalidate the win. The court on Friday agreed. Chamisa received 44.3 percent.
The election, in which Mnangagwa and Chamisa were the main contenders, was touted as a crucial step towards economic recovery and shedding Zimbabwe’s pariah reputation, but instead has left the nation deeply polarised.
Mnangagwa now faces the challenge of persuading the international community that the army crackdown and lapses in the election process will not derail his promise of reforms needed to fix the economy.
Zimbabwe’s constitution requires that since Mnangagwa was confirmed the winner, he should be sworn in within 48 hours. Mnangagwa’s inauguration could take place on Sunday.