The Con-Court on trial

HARARE - As Zimbabwe awaits the Constitutional Court (Con-Court)’s verdict on MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s election petition challenging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’ s declaration of Zanu PF leader  Emmerson Mnangagwa  as the winner of the July 30 Presidential  election, the call for calm cannot  be overemphasised.

The country is clearly on the edge and very deeply and dangerously divided. In the run-up to yesterday’s election petition, Mnangagwa and Chamisa’s followers appeared very intransigent and unwilling to welcome a verdict contrary to their respective expectations.

The violent protests that broke out in Harare on August 1, that saw six people die after members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) were deployed onto the streets to suppress demonstrations by people opposed to the delayed announcement of election results by Zec, is a clear indication that the situation in the country is very volatile and tense.

Given the foregoing, the Con-Court therefore has an onerous task on its shoulders. Since the decision the Con-Court will make will have far-reaching implications with the potential to trigger chaos in the country, the superior court has no choice but to discharge its duty in a fair and transparent manner.

We are convinced that if the Con-Court demonstrates fairness, impartiality and transparency, Zimbabweans across the political divide, regardless of their diametrically opposed views, will accept the verdict.

If the people have a sneaking suspicion suggesting that the Con-Court did not impartially discharge its duties, chances are that the divisions that have been precipitated by the election results  and in particular by Chamisa’s election petition, will widen  and potentially explode into violence and strife.

The Con-Court has a perfect opportunity to show that, contrary to the widely held view that our judiciary system lacks the capacity to deliver Judgements against the ruling class. The Chamisa election petition, which has attracted widespread attention, is a perfect platform to show that our courts are indeed bastions of justice they are meant to be.

We agree with constitutional lawyer Welshman Ncube’s view that the Con-Court is on trial and as such should meticulously and impartially go through all the evidence provided to come up with a fair judgement.

“Having now read through all the papers filed by all parties in the Constitutional Court Presidential election petition me thinks it is the Constitutional Court itself which will be on trial on Wednesday. Will they have the courage to look at the evidence without fear or favour?” said Ncube on his Twitter page.

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