Judges' appointments illegal: MDC

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is now a “caretaker president,” and has no moral authority to make substantive senior government appointments, MDC secretary-general and Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.

Speaking to journalists, Biti said: “As a party we are worried when substantive appointments that have a material bearing on elections are made by someone we think is now a lame duck president.

“We all are now only there to make sure there is no power vacuum. Otherwise we are all caretakers. Morally we think there should not be any executive decisions like the appointment of judges particularly when these are made without the necessary consultations,” said Biti referring to Mugabe’s recent judicial appointments.

The MDC argues the appointments were not done in good spirit because Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not consulted as per requirements of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Mugabe on Monday appointed six High Court judges; Loice Matanda-Moyo, Erica Ndewere, Nokuthula Moyo, Owen Tagu, Emmy Tsunga and Esther Muremba.

“The appointment of the judges is in our view illegal as the executive running the country is now only there to ensure the government remains operational and civil servants are paid their salaries,” Biti said.

Biti reiterated what he called the continued violations, commissions and omissions in the procedures being undertaken with regards to the running of the electoral process ahead of make-or-break elections set for the end of the month.

On the issue of the special vote Biti said legally there was no provision for a “second chance” for those who failed to vote.

“While the MDC sympathises with genuine serviceman and women as well as teachers who will be deployed but have been denied their right to vote, we are worried and alive to the fact that any directive that excluded servicemen and women will vote in the July 31, is clearly unlawful.

“Section 81b (2) of the Electoral Act chapter 2:13 makes it clear that a voter authorised to cast a special vote shall not be entitled to vote in any other manner.

“Section 5 of the Presidential (Special and Voting) Regulations SI 84 of 2013, also makes it clear that once a special vote application has been approved, the applicant s name must be removed and crossed out in the ward votes’ roll that the applicant is registered,” said Biti.

He said he however, did not see Zec seeking legal remedy to correct the situation.

Biti added that the MDC has already written to Zec on the issue and now awaits a reply.

“If we do not get a favourable reply we will approach the courts. You will also know that against the law, Zec allowed the special vote to go on for three days rather than the two and worse still spilled into the last 15 days before the actual poll as indicated by the Electoral Act,” the Harare East legislator said.

Biti highlighted incidences of violence that he said Zanu PF had reverted to in the past few days.

“Indications are that Zanu PF has resorted to its default mode, that of violence. Zanu PF’s centre of gravity and DNA is violence and it is now showing.

“We are seeing an increase in violence, there was closure of businesses, market stalls in Marondera, Chitungwiza, Chinhoyi and forcing people by Zanu PF militia to attend rallies.

“When you force people to attend rallies, there are calamities like the death of the poor lady in Chitungwiza. As a party, the MDC believes that not a drop of blood should be shed and we are seeing the resuscitation of militarised bases spreading like wild fire,” said Biti, citing other numerous cases of violation, denial of freedoms including arson attacks across the country.

He castigated the use of government machinery especially in rural areas such as Mudzi and Mutoko now terrorising villagers.  The soldiers are operating under the pseudo “champions” according to Biti.

Comments (2)

I think illegal appointments should be nullified after elections if MDC-T wins.

GONDOBWE - 21 July 2013

the question is what is the legal position as regards these appointments.what does the law say.the president is the one who has the power and authority to appoint, consultation is not a legal requirement of the process.so to me the appointments are properly made.

nduna ngoni - 14 October 2013

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.