Mawere drags Mudede to Constitutional Court

HARARE - South Africa-based businessman Mutumwa Dziva Mawere has taken his Zimbabwean citizenship battle to the Constitutional Court, arguing that Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede was violating his constitutional rights.

Mudede has ignored Mawere’s request for a Zimbabwean identification (ID) card, in violation of the new Constitution which came into force on May 22 that allows dual citizenship.

Mawere was born in Bindura but acquired South African citizenship in 2002.

The founder and chairman of Africa Resources Limited (ARL) argued in his earlier letter that the continued denial of Zimbabwean citizenship disenfranchises him as he intended to participate in the forthcoming general elections.

Mawere’s lawyer Tapiwa Pasirayi from Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans law firm said his client was seeking the court’s urgent intervention in the matter.

“It is thus imperative that the appropriate interpretation of our citizenship laws is made by this honourable court and the respondents be accordingly ordered to set up the relevant framework ahead of the landmark events such as elections as it is not enough to merely declare an election date without ensuring that all those that are entitled to participate are afforded the opportunity,” said Pisirayi.

In the urgent chamber application, Mawere cites Mudede, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), President Robert Mugabe and the Attorney General Johannes Tomana as respondents.

“First respondent’s (Mudede) conduct violates applicant’s (Mawere) right to equality and non-discrimination,” part of Mawere’s application reads.

He further said that the denial to get a Zimbabwean citizenship was violating his freedom of association and assembly, right to political participation and right to administrative justice.

Mawere told the court that Zec’s on-going voter registration denies Zimbabwean-born persons who hold foreign citizenship the right to participate in the forthcoming elections.

“Applicant seeks that second respondent (Zec) be interdicted from carrying on the voter registration process pending the adjudication of the main application clarifying the citizenship status of Zimbabwean-born persons who are holders of foreign citizenship by registration,” the application reads.

Mawere also said that he was seeking compensation for the violation of his freedoms and universal rights.

In the application, Mawere wants Mudede’s failure to issue him with a national identity document upon application on the 17th of May 2013 declared “unlawful” by the Constitutional Court. - Tendai Kamhungira

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