Mugabe's remarks on judiciary offside

HARARE - As a patriotic citizen, I accept that the president of a country is the first citizen but that does not make him the only and last citizen.

Yes, the president is the citizen of citizens but all other citizens also have their rights equal under the law being recognised and further protected by the collective law.

In this land between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers, the president is the commander-in-chief in upholding the laws of the land and ought not be a commander-in-chief in undermining and mutilating the laws of the land.

In jurisdictions where rule of law is common practice, it is axiomatic that politicians must not judge the judges and court judgments.

The rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and separation of powers constitute the very heart of a robust and effectual judicial system. Sadly, politicians are targeting their poisonous arrows at that very sacrosanct heart.

It is clear that the Constitution carries the important signature of the first citizen. The president has to read, lead and live the Constitution he signed.

All law is meaningful only in circumstances where there is rule of law. This does not profit just a party either Zanu PF or MDC.

Rule of law is our collective security. Even Investment will shy away where there is no rule of and protection by law.

It is difficult to fathom or even imagine how a president could threaten or condemn the courts. It is utter bullying and outright contempt of the judiciary.

One key question that begs an immediate answer is; Is Zimbabwe under martial law?

The president or any other person has no right to suspend the Constitution and rights, particularly in Chapter 4 on the Bill of Rights.

The president is a creature and indeed a loyal slave of the Constitution, and therefore under, and not above or outside remit of the Constitution. Perhaps politicians think they are themselves the Constitution. No, they are not.

For all intents and purposes, in terms of Section 90(1) of the national Constitution, the president has to uphold, defend, obey and respect the Constitution and must ensure that all other laws are faithfully observed.

In similar spirit, Section 90(2) (a) places the duty to ensure protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms and the rule of law upon the president of the Republic.

Interpretation of the law must be confined to the courts of law not the courts of politics or public rallies.

It is reckless and impolitic for the politicians to invite or expect a discourse which is ipso facto a monologue because judges can not respond.

On the back of their vocation and tenets of the profession, the judges cannot respond to the political posturing and pontificating by politicians but this rhetoric obstructs their discretion and conscience.

As a legal practitioner with the Superior Courts, I am better placed to opine that judges only respond to the quality of cases and arguments before them.

The president should first have had regard to the submissions made on behalf of the police by their attorneys before forming a misbegotten view.

In those submissions, nothing was said about the likely dangers to radio stations broadcasting live from the Harare Agricultural Show as we are now being made to believe.

To then simply expect the Court, out of no basis, to pay regard to what is not before it is brazenly mischievous.

It is a fallacy to argue that the court should have foreseen and be guided by the political environment.

The court is not a court of politics.

The court of law is not a forum for judges to scan into a political weather forecast.

The courts can never be a theatre to consider corridor opinions.

We have a duty to fix our broken politics. We must chlorinate our society of the sick governance culture of vituperative, corrosive and acerbic politics.

A New Zimbabwe is our collective duty and individual assignment as citizens. The future has come!!

Comments (1)

Indeed the future has come honourable Chamisa.We are sick and tired of a rogue government that does not respect the rule of law whenever it is not in their favour.Zanu pf with the blessings of their leader have abused the law left right and centre.When Zanu pf is demonstrating they don't seek police clearance.

Janana wa Bikaz - 7 September 2016

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