Judges' appointments: Mugabe did not consult Tsvangirai

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not consulted when President Robert Mugabe “unilaterally”
appointed six new judges on Monday.

Jameson Timba, minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe, who shares executive authority with Tsvangirai, breached the global political agreement (GPA) by making the unilateral appointments.

“To the best of my knowledge the prime minister was never consulted as is required by law in the appointment to the bench of judges who were sworn-in on July 15,” Timba said.

“It is unheard of the world over that a lame duck GPA president makes key appointments to key national institutions two weeks before the end of the lifespan of government.”

Asked if the PM believed the new judges were equal to the challenge, Timba said: “I am not qualified to comment on the competency of the appointments however, one is left with a sour taste in the mouth as to the impact and intention of such an 11th- hour appointment.”

On Monday, Mugabe appointed Loice Matanda-Moyo, Erica Ndewere, Nokuthula Moyo, Owen Tagu, Emmy Tsanga, and Esther Muremba at a brief ceremony held at State House.

Justice Antonia Guvava was elevated from the High Court to the Supreme Court.

Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa said the elevation of the judges was to fulfill constitutional requirements.

“We elevated judges to the Supreme Court to make up the Constitutional Court,” Chinamasa said. “That created a gap in the High Court that made it necessary to fill through the appointment of the six judges we have sworn in today.

“The issue was complicated by the fact that currently we have the Electoral Court that had to receive complaints and disputes from the electoral process. That means a lot of judges are busy leaving the normal work of the High Court unattended.”

Rashweat Mukundu, a media expert, said while it is the prerogative of the president to appoint judges as per the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, the recent appointments were somewhat unique as they came ahead of elections and at a time that neither Cabinet nor Parliament were functioning.

“One cannot rule a motive to stuffing the judiciary with like-minded individuals who will play a role in the case of disputes, more so those related to elections,” Mukundu said.

“One would question the urgency of the appointments at a time president Mugabe and his political opponents are on the ground campaigning.”

He said despite the fact that normal State business must continue even at the heat of election time, this was one task Mugabe could afford to wait-out unless there was a link to a political strategy of survival.

Tabani Moyo, a civil rights activist campaigner, said any incumbent would want to present a picture of business as usual to the public, the region and international community.

“Mugabe wants to present a “fit” to govern and “business as usual”

approach as if to say he is not bothered by the impending election hence the showcase of him doubling up his State duties and political party campaigns with “ease”,” said Moyo.

“The long and short of it all is that he wants to show the world that the country is not facing a vacuum as Cabinet members are now focusing on elections.”

Precious Shumba,  another civil rights activist, said Mugabe is readying himself to defend himself against litigation that might arise from a disputed electoral outcome.

“There is strong thinking in Zanu PF that they own Zimbabwe and can do whatever they think is ideal,” Shumba said. “Whatever his motives, they are not genuine.

“In my view, he should have waited until a new government is in place. Even as the nation gears for an election to choose a new president, new senate, new parliament, and new governance structures, Zanu PF and the president do not see themselves out of that government, and are simply sending a message to other political actors and interest groups that they are going nowhere, whatever the political outcome.”

Phillip Pasirayi, director of Centre for Community Development of Zimbabwe, said the appointments were illegal because Mugabe did not consult with PM Tsvangirai as is required by law.

“The appointment of the new judges of the High and Supreme Courts is in violation of the provisions of the Global Political Agreement which state clearly the need for the president to consult and agree with the premier before making these key appointments,” Pasirayi said.

“I reiterate that Zanu PF is still living in the past where we have seen appointments made on partisan grounds for political expediency without any regard to merit except extending or entrenching the Zanu PF hegemony and system of patronage.”

Outspoken playwright Cont Mhlanga said Mugabe and his team are now planning for the post-election era.

“To understand his motive, you have to stop thinking of it as two weeks before the election action,” Mhlanga said.

“He is living and thinking and acting post-election win or lose. That is why this man remains my hero, good or bad. He leads and they follow, right or wrong.

“The opposition actors are deep in their campaign wagons talking of him as losing the election while he is setting up ground for the post-election action.”

Comments (25)

Why would he consult some one who is not versed with Law on the appointment of Lawyers. Zvasiyana nekufudza kana kuvhiya mbudzi izvi.

reason - 18 July 2013

HE KNOWS THAT THE ELECTIONS WILL BE WON THROUGH "KANGAROO" COURTS. LETS GARD OUR VOTE ZIMBABWEANS VOTE IN NUMBERS. MAKE SURE A PERSON IN YOUR HOME VOTES PEACEFULLY AND WISELY. WITCH-OUT FOR THE ZPF PARTNERS DAVENGWA AND NCUBE. ZPF CAN NOT RUN A MODERN USD ECONOMY THE WORD SHORTAGE OF FOREX IS COMING BE WARNED ZIMBOS. ZPF ARE TSOTSIS, {CHIYANGWA ARIKUTO TEYA USD PACHANGE OVER TO ZIMDOLLARS} vote for a better future.

GUMBOREHOHWA - 18 July 2013

ko inga zita rako range rakanaka wani, ko uri kurasika papi? president anotonga nyika nokuti asarudzwa nevanhu hazvireve kuti anenge achiziva zvose. some of these appointments are done as per the dictates of law. if the president has to consult the pm, it does not mean that they are both legal experts they are required by the law to perform that task chete. ngatiregei kutuka vamwe tichiti havana kudzidza imi zvamakadzidza makambotsiuravo here varikutadza kutonga (ivo vakadzidza kudaro) kuti kudzidza kwenyu kubatsire imi pamwe nenyika yose? let us be educated (applying what we have learned to improve our situation) and not learned (having crammed what is written in the books without knowing what that means). after all kutongwa kwenyika irregardless kuti naani that will not change your life style that is kana wakafunda but kana usina ndakuregerera nokuti wakashaya mukana wekufunda zvino wotokavhira nokuita maslogan.

unreasonable reason - 18 July 2013

Mugabe outwits tsvangirai....This man thinks ahead indeed and i tell you this election was won 2 years ago

bt - 18 July 2013

Poor thinking. Zimbabwe has not ground to a halt-is still running. Should governing people stop because there is elections next door? Abilities of these noble judges are ascertained by Public Service Commission and not the president. The reason why there is no consultation between the President and the PM is an open secrete. You can imagine Mr. Timba referring to the President as a "lame duck' . Its obvious, consulting the PM would have resulted a tsunami in a tea cup, and the case could even end up at SADC if not AU. The problem is that the noble PM is having extremely poor advisers. More or less what Bishop Muzorewa had.

dungas - 18 July 2013

Poor thinking. Zimbabwe has not ground to a halt-is still running. Should governing people stop because there is elections next door? Abilities of these noble judges are ascertained by Public Service Commission and not the president. The reason why there is no consultation between the President and the PM is an open secrete. You can imagine Mr. Timba referring to the President as a "lame duck' . Its obvious, consulting the PM would have resulted a tsunami in a tea cup, and the case could even end up at SADC if not AU. The problem is that the noble PM is having extremely poor advisers. More or less what Bishop Muzorewa had.

dungas - 18 July 2013

Poor thinking. Zimbabwe has not ground to a halt-is still running. Should governing people stop because there is elections next door? Abilities of these noble judges are ascertained by Public Service Commission and not the president. The reason why there is no consultation between the President and the PM is an open secrete. You can imagine Mr. Timba referring to the President as a "lame duck' . Its obvious, consulting the PM would have resulted a tsunami in a tea cup, and the case could even end up at SADC if not AU. The problem is that the noble PM is having extremely poor advisers. More or less what Bishop Muzorewa had.

dungas - 18 July 2013

Tswangirayi and his anti-Mthwakazi tribalist supporters have now learnt a bitter lesson. You dance with evil and isolate Welshman instead of fighting from the same corner, you suffer the consequences. He should have respected the SADC resolution on the recognitition of Principals and teamed up with Welshman, today he would not be in this mess. You do not listen to SADC only when it suits you - it doesnt work like that. Gukurahundis have never respected any agreements, why should they change now simply because they are dealing with a certain Tswangirayi. The 1987 Gukurahundi Unity Agreement was never implemented to its letter and spirit; the Abuja Accord was never implemented; now why are you surprised that the GPA ia being ignored?

Phunyukabemphethe - 18 July 2013

This aged IDIOT does not listen & understand that he was made PRESIDENT by the GPA. Anyway guys don't worry lets retire him to ZVIMBA on 31 july.

EARTHQUAKE31JULY - 18 July 2013

Zimbabweans must delve and get to the grips of the origin of the situation they are in. far freom Mugabe being an outwitter or fast gun like people like Cont Mhlanga want us to beleive, his survival was at the grace of Thabo Mbeki who worked tirelessly to make sure that the opposition was kept at bay. Mbeki's major domo Frank Chikane has written a book celebrating the crimes against humanity they committed in Zimbabwe to help Mugabe survive. It is foolhardy for people like Cont Mhlanga to try and streotype the oppossing forces in this country as dumb in a system where the freeloaders ride high. In fact one day Cont will rue his stupid utterances.

Cont the Idiot - 18 July 2013

unreasonable reason, it's regardless not irregardless yawanyora iyo. zita rako rinoduzira zvauri. ungatoti waka dzidza iwe uchinyora zvakadaro, haunyare?

reason - 18 July 2013

The sharp truth is that President Mugabe, who is the one in charge of the affairs of Zimbabwe, will not be compelled to consult Tsvangirai. It is self-deceiving and day dreaming for Timba to expect President Mugabe to refer the issue of the judges to Tsvangirai moreso that the President is ruling by "decree" since the dissolution of the parliament on 29 June.

Rabison Nyundo (The Hammer) - 18 July 2013

Tsvanmgirai haana kubvira ambotonga pamwe naVaMugabe. Tsvangirai panenge pachikwishurana vanhu muCabinet iye anenge arikuSouth Africa kundoudza VaZuma kuti VaMugabe pavatuara muCabinet vakanganwa kuisa coma panemumwe mutsetse saka vaudzei izvozvo. Kana arimo muCabinet pfungwa dzinenge dzichiti dzikaenda kunaMacheka hedzo dzodzoka ne Joni dzakananga kwaKarimatsenga. Saka VaMugaber havadi kuganganisa flow of mind yake.

ganyamatope - 18 July 2013

ganyamatope uri dofo remunhu. Kana vana vako i think matofo zvakare. Asi kana vachigona muchikoro be careful vanogona kunge vairi vako. Iwe uri muchengeti chete because your mind cannnot produce a prodcuctive mind never.

hezvoko - 18 July 2013

Hey Cont Mhlanga, heroes are supposed to be me and women of integrity, not thugs. Mugabe is behaving in a thuggish manner, and you call him your 'hero, god or bad.' So, you think by murdering so many people during Gukurahundi, he is your 'hero, good or bad.' Why don't you select heroes who have positive contributions to make to our society, not villains.

Chenjerai Hove - 18 July 2013

@Hezvoko- Please do be a little charitable when dealing with people like ganyadope..I imagine his wife will have some explaining to do tonight " kana vana vako vachigona kuchirkoro becareful vanogona kuve vaisiri vako"..We dont want another murder headline in the middle of an election.

gutter poet - 18 July 2013

@Chenjerai- You, more than anyone else should know what Cont is saying. He is not in anyway endorsing Mugable at all. In fact far from it, all he is saying is that the MDC has allowed Mugabe to set the agenda all the time and play according to his rules and then mourn afterwards. They should set the agenda for a change not follow all the time. This is the point Cont is making. Evidence of this is everywhere.

gutter poet - 18 July 2013

@Chenjerai- Apologies are in order here. Cont got carried away here..if Mr. Mugabe is his hero then this statement was unfortunate. I have to say I agree with your point on this score. Of course Cont is free to choose his heroes. But that the MDC has allowed ZANU to get away with far too much can not be laid on anyone's door except their own!

gutter poet - 18 July 2013

He wants to be called Mugabe When he hates Zimbabwe His actual name is Matibhiri And he thought rocks hold pure dhiziri He would rather be in Singapore Than get treatment from home woo He rushes to Lesotho For parties too But deep down he knows Vanhu Havachada Mugabe&zanupf!!

Stop-a-Thief - 18 July 2013

I am not sure if Mr. Mugabe is indeed mandated by law to consult the Prime Minister on the matter in question, I suspect the President is to be "guided" by the judicial service commission. I fail to make head and tail of this Prime Minister consultation hullabaloo, Its neither here nor there. The only way we as Zimbabweans can make a difference is by casting our vote on the 31 July and ensure that we protect our vote thereafter.

Chimuswe - 18 July 2013

Pathetic journalism since when did Tsvangirai started sharing executive authority with the president.GPA is not the constitution of Zimbabwe

HAYA - 18 July 2013

this is the hallmark of Matibili. He cares about himself and not the country. If it was for the country these elections would be prepared for an outcome which is people driven. Mugabe is a schemer and it is all about him being in charge. After this man Zimbabwe will be easy to have leadership change when people need it without blood being spilled.

jonah - 18 July 2013

this is the hallmark of Matibili. He cares about himself and not the country. If it was for the country these elections would be prepared for an outcome which is people driven. Mugabe is a schemer and it is all about him being in charge. After this man Zimbabwe will be easy to have leadership change when people need it without blood being spilled.

jonah - 18 July 2013

90 yrs. Thanks, pane ane makore espare akweretese Mgabe here. Coz akangorigger iHONDO, HONDO WE ARE READY WE PREPARED. ZVAPERA. NGAENDE HATINA KUMBOBVA TAMUDA SINCE 1980

tata - 20 July 2013

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