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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Court upholds Mugabe’s July 31st poll date
Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa
July 04, 2013
hold elections in just over three weeks time after the Constitutional
Court dismissed an application by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
MDC leader Welshman Ncube and others for an extension. There was
also an application by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who told
the court that he only filed the government application for an extension
after being forced by the regional body – SADC.
The court said
to hold elections on July 31st had already been proclaimed
by President Robert Mugabe.
lawyer, Terrence Hussein, said there were lengthy arguments during
the hearing and all nine judges considered the matter and made a
unanimous decision which “reaffirmed that the constitution
of Zimbabwe prevails.”
Douglas Mwonzora said the ruling is not surprising and accused the
judges of showing bias in favor of Mugabe. “This was a predictable
ruling by the constitutional court because it was clear it was going
to make a political decision rather than a legal decision.
application was destined to fail anyway because it was poorly written
by the Minister of Justice who wanted this particular outcome.”
the reason why the MDC-T wanted a postponement was so that people
would be given ample time to register and inspect the voters’
All other requests
for the election date to be removed were also turned down.
the court did not take seriously the applications by ‘alien’
Mariah Phiri and human rights activist Nixon Nyikadzino, who also
appealed for a delay saying their rights would be violated if elections
are held this month. “All that has been sacrificed because
the Constitutional Court did not want to displease the emperor,”
Nhlanhla Dube said ZANU PF did everything possible to make sure
that the SADC resolution
was not implemented but he said they had to challenge the regime
in the courts to put it on record that what the former ruling party
had done was “patently wrong and patently unfair.”
Dube said they
are ready for elections even though “ZANU PF has forced our
He added: “Zimbabweans
will select those that stand for truth and values and they will
vote ZANU PF out of power.”
It was a busy
day at the Constitutional Court as the bench heard various arguments
on the issue of whether or not the July 31st election date should
the court that he was following the original court order to hold
elections by that date. He argued the rights of the people who had
filed their nomination papers last Friday, in the belief that elections
would be held at the end of this month, would also be violated.
said the election process was already underway and both Tsvangirai
and Ncube had filed papers in the nomination court to contest in
the presidential elections to be held on the 31st.
But the MDCs
told the court Mugabe had illegally proclaimed the poll dates without
consulting them as partners in the coalition government. They also
accused Mugabe of abusing his presidential powers to pass amendments
to the Electoral
Act, without going through parliament.
Now that the
court has brought finality to the issue of the election dates, questions
are being asked as to where the cash-strapped government is going
to find the money to run credible elections in just over three weeks.
Special voting for the security forces is expected to start in about
Electoral Commission has called upon the government to release $132million
to enable the electoral body to prepare for the general polls. Finance
Minister Tendai Biti has repeatedly said there is no money in the
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