"The results of the presidential poll were actually posted at polling stations at ward level," Alec Muchadehama told the court. "After the poll was held on March 29, results were actually available on March 30."

 

Court ruling

  

The electoral commission's lawyer, however, argued that the case was beyond the court's remit and Justice Tendai Uchena announced at the end of the hearing that a judgement would be made on Monday at  10:00am (0800 GMT).

 

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"A mooted presidential run-off ... is a sham," Tsvangirai wrote in a commentary in Monday's issue of the British newspaper The Guardian.

  

"Our country is on a razor's edge," he warned, calling on South Africa, Britain and the United States to step up pressure on Mugabe and his supporters to stand aside.

  

State media reported on Sunday that the ruling party had snubbed an  approach from the MDC to form a unity government and was now  demanding a complete recount of the presidential vote after detecting irregularities.

  

The MDC has denied that a unity government was ever on the table.

 

Mugabe - who has ruled for 28 years since Zimbabwe gained  independence from Britain in 1980 - chaired a meeting of the  ZANU-PF's politburo on Friday and was endorsed to compete in a run-off if neither of the two main contenders wins more than 50 per cent of the presidential vote.