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refuses to hear NCA High Court application
Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
February 28, 2013
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) wishes to dismiss with contempt today’s
ruling by Judge President George Chiweshe, dismissing the NCA urgent
application seeking an
extension of the referendum date without even assessing the merits
of the case.
Part of Chiweshe’s
ruling today reads…. ‘’These provisions are clear
and unambiguous. I am convinced that the powers given to the first
respondent [President] by section 3 of the Referendums Act, being
wide, discretionary and unfettered, fall into the category of those
powers under section 31, wherein the first respondent [President]
is required to act on his own deliberate judgement. That being the
case, I conclude that the content of the first respondent [President],
in setting the date
of the referendum and the time within which voters may cast their
vote, is not subject to review by a court.’’
In a landmark
ruling which is akin to the justice delivery system of 18th century
monarchs, what the Judge President is implying is that no court
in Zimbabwe can question the president over anything that he does
The NCA is dismayed
and disgusted at this wanton abuse of the courts by the Judge President,
himself infamous for presiding over the ZEC which in 2008 withheld
election results for a record 5 weeks.
The Judge President
did not even seek to hear the merits or demerits of the NCA case,
choosing instead to protect the president, a public servant from
scrutiny from members of the public on his actions which affect
the same public.
What the Judge President confirms in his ruling is the fact that
an executive residency is not good for this country and ideally
confirms the NCA's position that the executive presidency provided
for in Section 89 of the Copac draft
constitution is an affront to democracy as it confers unfettered
God-like powers on a human being.
being set by this scandalous judgement is that a sitting president
cannot be questioned on any issue whatsoever, for as long as they
are acting in their capacity as president. He is above the law,
and all other citizens and institutions of the state, including
it confirms the assertion that the executive presidency being advocated
for by the three political parties in government is meant to perpetuate
the current political set-up.
What it means
therefore is that such a sitting president is not subject to scrutiny
by the electoral courts that will seek to hear electoral disputes
during the coming elections.
The NCA will
be lodging an appeal on this judgement with the Supreme Court. Today’s
ruling has strengthened our resolve to continue our fight for a
genuine people driven constitution.
The Take Charge:
No Vote campaign is in full swing and we still urge the people of
Zimbabwe to reject this bad constitution that is being imposed upon
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