Poll showdown today

HARARE - The Constitutional Court will on Thursday deal with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and three others’ applications, in which the quartet is contesting the holding of elections by end of this month.

The four applications were made after President Robert Mugabe unilaterally proclaimed July 31 as the day for the holding of elections, following a Constitutional Court order.

However, his coalition partner Tsvangirai approached Sadc leaders and told them that Mugabe had unilaterally proclaimed the election date in breach of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

The Sadc petition came after Centre for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa (CEDSA) director, and founding trustee Jealousy Mawarire had won a court case ordering Mugabe to call for elections by end of this month.

But, Tsvangirai said the 89-year-old leader’s poll timetable made it impossible to complete reforms in the pro-Mugabe police and military widely blamed for State-orchestrated violence in previous elections.

Tsvangirai said it would be now difficult to implement reforms in the partisan State-controlled media if polls are held on 31 July.

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.

Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa made the application on Mugabe’s behalf.

However, following the application, Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube filed counter applications, arguing the minister’s request was weak and did not include their input.

Lawyers have since agreed to have Tsvangirai and Ncube together with a Bulawayo woman Maria Phiri and activist Nixon Nyikadzino as principal applicants, while Mugabe, Chinamasa, Mawarire, the Attorney General, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and Arthur Mutambara were made respondents.

All the applicants are demanding an extension of the poll date, citing the need for a free and fair election.

Lewis Uriri, who is representing Tsvangirai and Nyikadzino told journalists on Tuesday that the case was ready for hearing today soon after Uriri — together with other lawyers appearing on behalf of the parties involved — had a meeting with chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku in his chambers.

“We are basically saying proclamation date is unlawful but even assuming that the proclamation is lawful, the Presidential Powers, Temporary Act amendment of Electoral Law regulations are themselves unconstitutional.

“We headed to an argument that there is no electoral law, there is no proclamation and we want the President to properly proclaim a new election date,” Lewis Uriri said.

The full bench of nine judges is today expected to deal with the issue, which has kept Zimbabweans in limbo as July 31, fast approaches.

Comments (7)

It seems that ZANU is way ahead of other parties when it comes to strategies. It plays its cards very well that they always fall in the ZANU way, Do you think they is going back on elections now. I wonder

charles jera - 4 July 2013

Lets hope the concourt does what is best for the country. No partisanship

tanatswa - 4 July 2013

GOOD JUDGES OF THE CONST. Court put an ordinary Zimbabweans ahead of the Greedy POLITICIANS. We do not want AN ELECTION CHARACTERIZED BY THE MILITARY IE WHY ARE THEY REPRESENTING THE ZANU PF YET THEY ARE IN UNIFORM AND USING INTIMIDATION TO INFLUENCE THE OUT COME. IN KARIBA POLICE OFFICERS LOST JOBS FOR JUST ATTENDING A N MDC RALLY WHAT IF THEY REGISTERED TO REPRESENT MDCS GOD FORBID. UNCONSTITUTIONAL???. SO LETS THERE BE REFORMS FIRST AND EVEN ARRESTS BEFORE Elections. This country can not afford a disputed election like 2008 March were someone STEALS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE BY HOLDING RESULTS FOR WEEKS. NO NO MORE JUNTA RULE. PROTECT US IF YOU ARE NOT PART OF THEM. GOD WILLING ZANU (SATAN) PF SHOULD NEVER RULE AGAIN.

Zim One - 4 July 2013

Yes Super is just as super cde let the guy do his job as God gave him the intelligence......People should not be jealous. Zimbabweans are just like that......jealous because you don't want to see others winning

Clemence Tashaya - 4 July 2013

Yes Super is just as super cde let the guy do his job as God gave him the intelligence......People should not be jealous. Zimbabweans are just like that......jealous because you don't want to see others winning

Clemence Tashaya - 4 July 2013

ZANU PF has no strategies at all. It abuses the system. The judges of the concourt are appointed by the First secretary of ZANU PF and the party has over the years failed to separate party issues from govt issues. Look how they used the police during their primaries.On a level playing field they have no chance at all.It is everyone's right as a registered voter to stand for election or to nominate someone for election. The current process of registration shuts out those who are registering now. The nomination court has already sat and if one wanted to contest he/she can no longer participate.There must be room for inspection of the voter's roll before the sitting of the nomination court. this was not done. There is therefore need for an extension of the polling date to accommodate these provisions.

jaku - 4 July 2013

reforms first whats the rush ,here in shurugwi a place called zhaugwe mdc members are being harassed and base has been erected to put fear so how can we have free and elections under that conditions

kayzee - 4 July 2013

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