Chidyausiku reprimands politicians

HARARE - Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has reprimanded politicians in a thinly-veiled warning, demanding that they stop commenting on matters before the courts.

Analysts yesterday were quick to point out that the statement could have been directed at President Robert Mugabe, Information minister Jonathan Moyo and MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu among other people who have commented publicly about the lawsuit in which former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa is challenging the constitutionality of the 2014 Zanu PF congress.

Chidyausiku warned politicians to stop being quoted in the public media about matters before the courts.

The State media twisted the statement yesterday, claiming that Chidyausiku was warning private media.

Last week, Mugabe warned the Judiciary not to entertain Mutasa’s challenge when he officially opened the Africa Chrome Fields (ACF)’s smelting plant in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe.

The nonagenarian leader, who holds a Law degree, controversially insinuated that he would question the qualifications of any judge who would attempt to hear the case.

This led to constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku calling upon Chidyausiku to issue a statement warning the Executive to stop interfering with the Judiciary, as dictated by the time-honoured doctrine of separation of powers.

Chidyausiku on Tuesday warned every Zimbabwean to stop commenting on matters that are before the courts.

“The Chief Justice calls upon all to refrain from publicly commenting on matters under consideration by the courts in violation of the sub-judice rule,” Chidyausiku said in a statement.

The Chief Justice further said all matters before the courts will be determined according to the law.

“Notwithstanding the comments and reports on pending matters, the Chief Justice reassures all that matters before the courts are and will be determined in accordance with nothing other than the law,” he said.

“The Chief Justice notes with concern the proliferation in the public media of inappropriate comments on matters pending before the courts, contrary to the time honoured and internationally accepted practice of refraining from publicly commenting on matters that are sub-judice,” he said.

“The Chief Justice accepts that trials of court cases of a public interest nature may be reported and commented on.

“However, such reports and comments must not seek to, or be perceived as seeking to prejudice, influence or interfere with the due administration of justice or fair trials of the matters reported on.”

Madhuku told our sister paper the Daily News on Sunday that Mugabe’s remarks over Mutasa’s case were reckless and clear testimony that Africa’s oldest leader is living in the past.

“I think such remarks should be condemned as irresponsible,” Madhuku said.

“Mugabe is an old man living in the past.

“He thinks we are still in the period 1980 to 1985 when he used to intimidate judges. But that period is over and nowadays no judge is intimidated by threats from the Executive.”

The University of Zimbabwe lecturer added that it was clear that Mugabe was ignorant of the law, as there was no matter that could be said to be outside the ambit of the Judiciary.

“The major problem with Mugabe is that he has limited understanding of the law. He studied law in prison and he never went to a law school. So his understanding of law is limited.

“There is no matter or dispute that cannot be brought to court. Under the constitution, there is no matter that can be said to be non-judiciable. Mugabe is ignorant of this fact.”

Madhuku added that Mutasa’s lawyers should capitalise on Mugabe’s remarks to dismiss the nonagenarian’s defence in court.

“What his lawyers should do when they go to court is to raise the issue that Mugabe’s remarks, as one of the respondents, were inappropriate as the matter is sub-judice, and therefore his defence in court should be dismissed on that basis,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there are no remedies to the matter because a president cannot be arrested. But the Chief Justice can issue a statement like what Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena did in 1989 calling upon the Executive to stop interfering with the Judiciary,” Madhuku said.

Comments (8)

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morkal - 12 March 2015

madhuku one is above the law

wemazimh - 12 March 2015

He studied law in prison and he never went to a law school. So his understanding of law is limited. Prroffessor Madhuku svondivhuna manje svongozuwaa zvasvinoda havo

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 12 March 2015

Those are the consequences of being led by a 100 year old fool. You can't teach an old dog new tricks

Phaphamani - 12 March 2015

Change will inevitably come in unexpected way provided we get honesty summoned back even among those who feed from the hand of a swapped government. Integrity cannot allow certain things to go unchecked. Zanu might not be aware of how she has dug enough grave for her burial. This is no kidding a time is coming when minds of noble will turn on what just, fair and true and act accordingly. Zimbabwe has been made a an international joke with so-called leadership substandard statements that have betrayed lack of wisdom let along common sense. We urge top civil servant to act in the national interest without thinking of alliance with parties to destroy the country we all love and which is a heritage for our posterity. Let us have national pride to stand against what is evil and treacherous coming from those lost in power struggle and are failing to identify national good against personal preservation. Professionals do not give in.

Andrew Manyevere - 12 March 2015

I am not a lawyer and so are millions of other out there and yet we know that Mugabe's remark that it was not for the courts to hear Mutasa challenge was nonsense. This was just Mugabe saying he is above the law. His threats against the judge who dared to hear the case was way over the top and totally unacceptable! Zimbabwe's judiciary is not independent and impartial; we should stop kidding ourselves on that one!

wilbert Mukori - 13 March 2015

Mugabe only studied law but never practised. In my opinion he is not as clever as he tries to portray himself. He is a faggot and an idiot who presides over a dictatorship. Useless degrees he acquire whilst in jail!!! They should have let him rot in jail.

Garikayi - 13 March 2015

Kune avo varikuomesa tsinga in defence of Mutasa: musakangamwa kuti dhara iri is one of the looters of who destroyed our country. No mercy upon this selfish fool. Ofcourse kana muri zwizukuru zwaro zwaiseva muto westolen riches you have all the reasons to wail. If that is the case mava kunzwa kuti kutemura kwamaingonzwira panext door kwakaoma sei. Ko Chidyausiku angasveroita hanya nenyaya dzedhara iri kunge nyaya dzecorruption yaparadza nyika dzapera. Ndiko kunonzi kushaya kusaziva mapriority by a judge sitting high in the country`s judicial. Siyana naro dhara iri: zwichapedzerana na Bob, or Grace , whoever fired him.

Chorosi - 13 March 2015

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