Con-Court poll case: Mugabe goes it alone

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is going it alone in Constitutional Court application as Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday forged ahead with the appeal despite protests that the request was weak and filed without due consultations.

His application comes as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Principals had agreed that Chinamasa’s application was going to be withdrawn and pave way for a fresh application agreed to by all the three ruling parties.

Chinamasa on Tuesday applied for an extension of election dates from July 31, to August 14, before re-filing it on an urgent basis on Wednesday.

He filed the application after a directive by Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Extraordinary Summit held in Maputo, Mozambique last weekend.

The regional bloc’s leaders directed Mugabe to go back to the Constitutional Court to seek a variation of the July 31 poll date after noting that it will be impossible to have elections by that date.

However, following the Tuesday application, Tsvangirai said Chinamasa filed the application without due consultations and input — describing it as weak, null and void.

In the application seeking the extension of the date for the holding of the election, Chinamasa cited Centre for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa (CEDSA) director Jealousy Mawarire, Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara, Welshman Ncube and the Attorney General Johannes Tomana as respondents.

Despite Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruling that the matter should be heard on an urgent basis, Tsvangirai and Ncube’s lawyers said they raised objections with the court on Chinamasa’s application.

Chris Mhike, who is representing Tsvangirai, yesterday told journalists that Chidyausiku had ruled that all sticky issues would be dealt with during the hearing of the matter.

“We did indicate to the judge that there is an agreement between the leaders of the parties for minister Chinamasa’s application to be withdrawn and for the fresh application to be filed, which fresh application includes the input of the other parties in the GNU (Government of National Unity),” Mhike said.

“We did bring this point to the attention of the Chief Justice and the lawyer for minister Chinamasa said if that application is finally agreed on before the hearing of the main matter, a withdrawal will be effected and a new application will be heard.”

Fred Gijima appeared on behalf of Chinamasa.

“All parties should file their papers by Monday, so that it can be heard on the roll,” Gijima said.

Thabani Mpofu, Ncube’s attorney said all constitutional matters will be heard next week, beginning Wednesday, and this case was one of the cases that was going to be dealt with during the period.

“The parties discussed the application which minister Chinamasa had prepared and they indicated that there were certain issues they were not happy with and they then agreed — the three of them — to the preparation of another joint application. So we had taken the position or we believed that minister Chinamasa was going to withdraw this application but he has indicated that he is forging ahead with it,” said Mpofu. - Tendai Kamhungira

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.