Picture: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Harare - Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court on Friday confirmed President Emmerson Mnangagwa's disputed July 30 victory, dismissing an opposition challenge that had held up his inauguration.

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.

The election, in which Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson 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.

An army crackdown in response to post-election violence by opposition supporters left six people dead on August 1, recalling the heavyhanded security tactics that marked the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe, who was removed in a coup last November.

Chamisa's lawyers accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of inflating Mnangagwa's vote tally by 69 000 to avoid a runoff, and that the ZEC's revision of the results was sufficient evidence that fraud occurred.

Lawyers for Mnangagwa and the ZEC brushed the allegations aside and said Chamisa had failed to provide tangible proof.