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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Crisis Report Issue 194
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
    June 20, 2013

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    Justice Minister wants to ‘lose’ the con-court case

    Justice Minister Hon. Patrick Chinamasa who on Tuesday June 18 ostensibly made a Constitutional Court (Con-court) application on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe in compliance with the recommendations of the SADC Summit in Maputo has been berated for acting unilaterally and planning to “lose” the case against the bloc’s advice.

    The Court case seeks to reverse the election date of July 31 decreed by President Robert Mugabe which legal analysts said was not implementable without violating the new Constitution.

    The allegations against Chinamasa surfaced at a public discussion at the SAPES Trust in Harare on Tuesday, June 18.

    Chinamasa reportedly made himself the sole applicant, while citing PM and MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry and Commerce Minister and MDC President Welshman Ncube, who are part of government and political principals as respondents rather than applicants.

    Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jameson Timba said Chinamasa was behaving irresponsibly by contriving to “lose” the case.

    “We have serious political issues; a leader who behaves like this does not deserve to be anywhere near government,” Timba said, adding that the application by the Justice Minister was “unilateral”.

    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) Spokesperson Thabani Nyoni appealed to the Zimbabweans to remain resolute.

    “We note that Zanu-PF continues to undermine the latter and spirit of the Inclusive Government, showing halfhearted commitments to implementing SADC resolutions as part of frustrating the process of creating a conducive environment for credible elections.

    “Our message to the people of Zimbabwe is that this election is not about Zanu-PF, or the two MDCs or even SADC.

    “It is about citizens creating a better Zimbabwe for themselves and they must defy all these obstacles and come out in their numbers to make this election count,” said Nyoni.

    Sydney Chisi, a civil rights activist and director of Youth Initiatives for Democracy in Zimbabwe (YIDEZ), said an application without the endorsement of other parties was not a sign of compliance with the SADC position by Zimbabwe.

    “There is no compliance at all given that this application was supposed to be done by government which means by all the principals. By, making some of the respondents Chinamasa wants to portray them as criminals.

    “So it was an application to 'lose' the case and water down any chance of winning.

    “If Chinamasa loses the case then there will be a crisis of legitimacy and just like Madagascar, SADC will not recognize the election,” Chisi said.

    The three political principals President Mugabe, PM Tsvangirai and MDC President Welshman Ncube were scheduled to meet on Wednesday each with two lawyers to make an application to the Con Court, according to Regional Integration and Cooperation minister and GPA negotiator, Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga.

    “We now have a president under captivity from people because he wants to lead this country into a chaos,” Misihairambwi-Mushonga added.

    Zanu-PF member and former Ambassador to China Chris Mutsvangwa dismissed the efforts of SADC leaders to resolve the contestation around the election date proclamation by President Mugabe, saying the regional bloc was just “a club in the face of the courts”.

    “They (SADC leaders) were not sitting as judges, they were sitting as politicians,” Mutsvangwa said at the public dialogue forum before being booed and walking out.

    The resolutions made by the SADC Summit included that the media reforms must kick in and that the security forces must make a public statement pledging their allegiance to the new Constitution which provides that they must be non-partisan.

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