Supreme Court throws out Madhuku's appeal

HARARE - The Supreme Court has thrown out National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku’s appeal against President Robert Mugabe’s gazetted date for the holding of a referendum.

Madhuku had first filed an urgent High Court chamber application against Mugabe and Zimbabwe Election Commission acting chairperson, Joyce Kazembe, demanding an extension of the date for the holding of a referendum.

The referendum is set for Saturday.

High Court Judge George Chiweshe dismissed the application arguing the court had no jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

Madhuku then approached the Supreme Court contesting the decision, but the appeal has hit another brick wall.

Yesterday, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, his deputy Luke Malaba, Paddington Garwe, Anne-Marie Gowora and Vernanda Ziyambi, constituted the panel of judges that dismissed the application.

“The appeal in this matter is allowed to the extent that the court aquo should have assumed jurisdiction to inquire into the issue of irrationality or gross unreasonableness. The judgment of the court aquo is set aside with no order as to costs.

“Ordinarily this matter should have been remitted to the court aquo for the determination of the merits but in view of the urgency of this matter and the fact that this court is as good as the court aquo, it can make a determination of the application on the merits.

“And having considered the application on merits and accepting all that has been said on behalf of the appellant, the court is of the view that the grounds of irrationality or gross unreasonableness of the first respondent’s (Mugabe) proclamations have not been established,” said Chidyausiku. - Tendai Kamhungira

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