June 29 election boob

HARARE - Phew!! President Robert Mugabe has now backed down from his mischievous intention to make the court grant him an interim order that would have put the harmonised election dates at any time before June 29, 2013.

 Judge President Justice George Chiweshe made it clear in court on Wednesday that the issue before him was not about the general elections but the three by-elections.

And we all know who we won’t have an early election.

Representing Mugabe, Deputy Attorney-general, Prince Machaya, said he was no longer pursuing the issue of holding harmonised elections before June 29 as stated in the order they were seeking.

Machaya said his client (Mugabe) was now confining himself to the three by-elections, a major climb-down indeed by Mugabe considering that the 89-year-old leader had wanted to use the by-election case to sneak in an unfeasible harmonised election date without consulting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as required under the law.

The media in Zimbabwe failed to see the proper story of this major backtracking by Mugabe on election dates.

Some even laughably had headlines suggesting that Tsvangirai had lost the case when in fact the biggest loser was Mugabe, whose plan to abuse the courts to declare an election in June has now fallen apart at the seams.

Machaya wrote an interesting letter to the Prime Minister’s lawyers yesterday. “We advise that we did not change our position in court, Machaya wrote.  All we indicated to the court was that it was no longer necessary for us to pursue the interim relief (of a June 29 election date) in our court papers.”

Surely, if you are no longer pursuing you interim relief, then you have changed your position. But we can understand the desperate attempt to save face while climbing down from this embarrassing June 29 election boob.

Tsvangirai only became an interested party to the extent that Mugabe wanted to use this by-elections case to declare elections dates in complete violation of the Constitution.

Now that Mugabe has backtracked on that one, Tsvangirai will no longer pursue him on this illegality now that the octogenarian has withdrawn the nonsensical wish to sneak in a June election date.

In his affidavit, Tsvangirai had argued that as recently as the March 25, 2013, he had discussed the issue of the election date with Mugabe at a principals’ meeting.

They had agreed that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and his Constitutional Affairs counterpart, Eric Matinenga, should come up with legal time frames ahead of the election. While that process was still taking place, Mugabe had clandestinely deposed an affidavit in court unilaterally announcing his own preferred date for election without consulting the prime minister as demanded by the GPA, which is now Amendment 19 of the current Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe is still in denial that there are two bulls in the kraal but his backtracking from his earlier affidavit is an indication that he is aware he was about to act unconstitutionally.

Let the facts be made clear; The date for the next election will never be a prerogative of Mugabe.

That date will have to involve the prime minister and Sadc. And we will certainly go for those elections after implementing those reforms that we agreed to but are not being implemented, chief among them media reforms.

The Bull Eland knows for certain that Tsvangirai is ready for a truly free and fair poll.

The only person who can be afraid is the one who lost that election in March 2008 before he opted to contest against himself and declared himself a winner, a result Sadc and the African Union refused to endorse.

Zvinhu zvakachinja. Motowirirana naSave Gushungo padheti reelection. Kare haagari ari kare! - Bull Eland

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