Mugabe vs the world

HARARE – The decision by the Constitutional Court on Thursday to dismiss the application to have poll dates extended beyond the end of this month means the battle of the political titans, Zanu PF and the MDC, is now truly on.

Elections are now set for July 31 as proclaimed by President Robert Mugabe against the opinions of Sadc, the African Union and the world at large.

Reacting to the ruling, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the court should have adhered to the Sadc directive.

“It would have been better had the court listened and abided to the advice of those who created this institution of the inclusivegovernment, who are Sadc.

“They (Sadc) made the resolution in good intend of having a free and fair election. In this case the MDC president and the party leadership will sit down to study the import of this judgment,” Tamborinyoka said.

Welshman Ncube’s spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said the court’s ruling was a Zanu PF decision.

“It is the decision that was going to come out the way it did. Chinamasa’s application was like a man who writes to a lady proposing a relationship but does so in such a language that the woman can only say no. Only Zanu PF can win a soccer game played using Rugby rules,” Dube said.

His deputy Kurauone Chihwayi said “It’s game on”.

“We are ready for the elections and we will be launching our campaign programme on July 10 and the party manifesto on July 20 in Chikomba and Binga respectively,” Chihwayi told the Daily News.

On the other hand, Zanu PF’s director of information Psychology Maziwisa said the former ruling party is excited by the court’s ruling.

“It shows that there is rule of law in Zimbabwe and our courts are sovereign. It also put those who wanted to delay our election in shame. As a party, we hope that people are going to judge the main political parties in Zimbabwe according to what they have done in the past four years,” Maziwisa said.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled that elections should proceed on July 31, rendering a Sadc directive for an extension of the date ineffective.

In a decision reached unanimously by a panel of nine judges at the Constitutional Court, Chidyausiku dismissed Tsvangirai’s application, which had been consolidated with those of Welshman Ncube, Nixon Nyikadzino and Maria Phiri.

All the applicants were seeking an extension of the election date.

The respondents in the application were President Robert Mugabe, Patrick Chinamasa, Jealousy Mawarire, the Attorney General, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Arthur Mutambara.

“For the avoidance of doubt, elections should be held by the 31st of July in terms of a proclamation issued by the President of Zimbabwe and in compliance with an order of this court,” said Chidyausiku. 

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

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

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.

Chinamasa made the application on Mugabe’s behalf, which Tsvangirai and Ncube said was weak, forcing them to file counter applications.

Chinamasa’s lawyer Fred Gijima on Thursday left the court in stitches when he said his client made the application at the instance of Sadc and whatever the outcome, the court was going to make, it made no difference.

“He (Chinamasa) has been whipped by Sadc to plead with you (court) to extend the election date,” Gijima said.

He said Chinamasa saw nothing wrong with Mugabe’s proclamation.

Chidyausiku thanked him for entertaining the court.

During proceedings, deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the court had no power to postpone the election date.

“No court has a power to postpone an election. I am still to hear in the world, where a court has jurisdiction to postpone an election.

"You cannot postpone an election when a proclamation has been made,” Malaba said, questioning why the PM had not filed his request before Mugabe’s proclamation.

He said Tsvangirai should have approached the court rather than seeking Sadc leaders’ assistance.

Malaba said according to the Electoral Law, Mugabe was the only person who had powers to alter his proclamation or to postpone an election.

However, Lewis Uriri said Tsvangirai acted properly because Sadc is the guarantor to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that came into place after a disputed 2008 bloody election.

Uriri further told the court that Mugabe’s declaration was a nullity and therefore unlawful. He said no one knew Mugabe was going to make the proclamation on the 13th of June.

“The holding of elections on the 31st in accordance with the Presidential Powers regulation will be a breach of the Constitution and people’s fundamental rights,” Uriri said.

Chidyausiku said probably Tsvangirai had lost the lock to the keys, after the premier was quoted saying he had the keys to the elections.

He said all the applications come after the “mother of illegality”, since elections were supposed to be held on June 29, when the Parliament was dissolved.

Chidyausiku questioned on the rights that Tsvangirai was claiming had been violated by the proclamation for the holding of elections on July 31.

“The biggest infringement is the failure to hold elections by June 29,” said Chidyausiku.

He said Mugabe had complied with a court order, but Uriri said the compliance was unlawful.

Ncube and Phiri were represented by Thabani Mpofu, while Mugabe was represented by Terence Hussein. Joseph Mandizha appeared on behalf of Mawarire.

Comments (24)

Nhlanhla Dube is firing from all cylinders..Wow "...can win football match using rugby rules!" and there I was thinking I had heard them all!

gutter poet - 5 July 2013

ln all fairness, l think the constitutional court's ruling was always coming that way since the parties in the GPA had all connived to disregard the constitution by not holding elections on June 29 at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans who swim in potholes, light their houses with candles, pay huge bills at gvt hospitals, ride on scotch carts, eat dust................,the list is endless.

chinos - 5 July 2013

The SADC ordered the government to approach the Concourt for the date for the harmonised election . The Concourt in its sovereign position decided that July 31 was the DAY. SADC had said that it was to abide by the Concourt's sovereign decision. It is self-deceit for MDC-T to believe that SADC would go against sovereign decisions of other countries' courts. The problem is that the MDC-T is diplomatically immature. As for the Daily News, it is clear that it will see facts as they are.

Robison Nyundo - 5 July 2013

What ever the case might be, all of these legal battles, hallaballoo... there is one strong and un-disputed fact politics is just full uf shit and all of these political croonies dont care about about the interests and welfare of the povo. They dont give a damn

Mkanya - 5 July 2013

The SADC ordered the government to approach the Concourt for the date for the harmonised election . The Concourt in its sovereign position decided that July 31 was the DAY. SADC had said that it was to abide by the Concourt's sovereign decision. It is self-deceit for MDC-T to believe that SADC would go against sovereign decisions of other countries' courts. The problem is that the MDC-T is diplomatically immature. As for the Daily News, it is clear that it will see facts as they are.

Robison Nyundo - 5 July 2013

As a party, we hope that people are going to judge the main political parties in Zimbabwe according to what they have done in the past four years,” Maziwisa said. NO WE ARE GOING TO JUDGE ACCORDING TO THE LAST 33YERS

andrew mavhura - 5 July 2013

yes the last 33 yrs

mabhunu muchapera - 5 July 2013

Paita nyaya apa.

jm - 5 July 2013

It should be about ordinary people. Ordinary people not politicians. We want bread on our tables. We want freedom. We want jobs. We want houses. We want our resources to create wealth for us not some indviduals. We want a new Zimbabwe for our kids.

jm - 5 July 2013

Daily News, keep up the good work. The updates on the news. This is what we want.

fm - 5 July 2013

yebo 33 yrs, not 4 years. The Unhonourable Judge has really proven that he is a Zanu Pf apologist. Morgan you have a long list of bafoons to be fired soon after your victory. Chinamasa aka Chimamiswa,Godfrey 'moment of weakness' Chidyausiku Guvheya wil be in Prison. Augustine Hondo yeminda Chihuri. Pliz don't fire Chinotimba he wil be our King Lear Fool in the new dispensation.Ahoiii, dhiiii.

Madhala - 5 July 2013

the court has no power to change a proclamation by the president. Does it mean the president could have approached the court to ask for an extension before his proclamation? Does it mean the president can still decide to change that proclamation now if he wants. To me it seems the concourt is saying a lot of nothing and not stating that Mugabe took advantage of the concourt decision to announce the 31st of July as the election date because then it would make it impossible for the required electroral law changes to ensure free and fair rules. The concourt conned Zimbabwean by giving Mugabe the Ace. This is the President we have had for 33 years whos thinking that he is the the best Zimbo has had despite his age. I can not imagine even a single day more under this leader. Zimbaabweans are paying for their poor decision on choice of leader. IN the beginning we had Mugabe and Nkomo and Zimbabweans chose Mugabe and they have done so for the last 28 years. I am saying 28 years because the last five he imposed himself because he feels he needs any one to elect him since he is Zimbabwe's given leader. Surely Zimbabweans you will pay for these poor decision until you change your ways. What can Mugabe do at his age which he failed to do when he was younger?

jonah - 5 July 2013

we will judge u 4 e past 33 YEARS 33YEARS!!!!

uhuru - 5 July 2013

Constitutional court judges.....well known Mugabe people for years...is anyone else surprised by the judgement? I seriously doubt that. It is unlawful to take a life yet ZANU PF have been responsible for taking many Zimbabwean lives...we never heard anyone ZANU PF talking about the rule of law then.

Manwhosoldtheworld - 5 July 2013

It was folly for anyone to have thot the court was going to rescind its own ruling. they would have looked silly

chibatamoto - 6 July 2013

Mugabe cant afford the 2 week extension coz that would give the more than 2million youths a chance to register to vote. This time election is not rigged through violence but rather through manipulation of the voters roll. This includes the exclusion and misspelling of names and also the total exclusion of all areas perceived to be mdc from the registration process.

Suluman - 6 July 2013

The failure to extend means million unregistered youths and aliens will not vote

Doreen - 6 July 2013

GAME ON THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWERS TO FIRE THE BENCH? HERE!!!? ONEWAY GUBBY STYLE. REAL ZIMBABWEANS LETS UNITE UNITE IN UNITY AND FIGHT THIS GARANYANYA RINODA KUTI URAIRARA UPENYU. JOIN THE NEW ZIMBABWE TRAIN. MA-ZANU PF BHORA OVER THE BAR OR SIDE NET. ZIMBABWE IS VERY MUCH BIGGER THAN mugabe.

PEOPLE - 6 July 2013

President Mugabe neConcourt warova fast track yekubuda basa.KKKKKKKK

Fox - 6 July 2013

A court decision that is contrary to the dictates of a community's sense of justice and fairness loses its credibility. This is what we have seen with the ConCourt. Its decision has excluded many Zimbos from exercising their democratic right of self-determination. Is this justice?

Gondobwe - 6 July 2013

Only a fool can say this ----On the other hand, Zanu PF's director of information Psychology Maziwisa said the former ruling party is excited by the court's ruling. “It shows that there is rule of law in Zimbabwe and our courts are sovereign. It also put those who wanted to delay our election in shame. As a party, we hope that people are going to judge the main political parties in Zimbabwe according to what they have done in the past four years,” Maziwisa said.

wamaromo - 8 July 2013

Chidyausiku said probably Tsvangirai had lost the lock to the keys, after the premier was quoted saying he had the keys to the elections. In all fairness Chidyuahusiku is a fool, an idiot and enemy of the people. Idiot.

wamaromo - 8 July 2013

time to go sekuru has done it again fast tracking his way out the old man is indeed tired. plz Zimbos give the old man an overwelming exit by voting MDC-T come 31July. it was stage managed through and through but it will backfire if the thought it was in their favour. we giving SAVE the keys to Statehouse come 31 July this is my promise PERIOD

MAERESERA - 11 July 2013

Chidyausiku itsotso,anotsotsa aripamwechete napresident mampara,aka,aka,aka

nathaniel - 11 July 2013

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