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The MDC and judicial freedom
Morgan Tsvangirai, Movement for Democratic Change
March 22, 2011
The MDC is a genuinely
democratic party which believes in Constitutionalism and the rule
of law. At the core of the rule of law is the belief that disputes
must be settled after due process and that there can be no resort
to self-redress and self execution. That is why for many years,
the MDC has persistently and consistently sought redress in the
courts of Zimbabwe.
We have filed endless
applications with different results with the various courts in Zimbabwe.
The reason why we did this was our strong belief in the Judiciary
and we still believe that disputes can be resolved in the courts
of this country.
To that extent, I and
the party I lead truly believe in the independence of the Judiciary.
This means that there should not be an executive interference in
the work of the Judiciary. This also means that the conditions of
service of those who serve in the Judiciary, the provision of the
necessary requirements such as law reports, translation and recording
equipment and research assistants, must be provided and enhanced.
It follows that the Judiciary
itself has a duty to uphold the laws of the country in a fair and
My recent comments on
the Judiciary were clearly an immediate reaction against a judgement
that affected the morale of my party. Those comments should not
be taken out of context. They are not in any way a departure from
my strong belief in judicial independence nor were they meant to
As a party, we remain
committed to judicial independence. We have never sought to undermine
anyone in the Judiciary and we will continue to place our matters
before the courts. That is why, as recently as last Saturday, our
lawyers were before Justice Chiweshe, arguing for the lifting of
the ban on our peace rally.
In a democracy, the courts
must have the freedom of exercising their duties without undue interference
from politicians and the executive. We believe in the separation
of powers of the executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature. The
Judiciary will remain the last bastion of the defence of the rights
of citizens in a democratic society.
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