AG appeals High Court by-election ruling

The Attorney General has appealed in the Supreme Court against a High Court ruling directing President Robert Mugabe to call by-elections in three Matabeleland constituencies.

Johannes Tomana
Johannes Tomana

Justice Nicholas Mathonsi handed down the landmark judgement in October on behalf of Justice Nicholas Ndou, who was tied up elsewhere.

“I hereby order President Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions to announce elections dates in Lupane East, Nkayi South and Bulilima East in a period within 14 days,” says Mathonsi’s ruling.

The A-G, Johannes Tomana, has now lodged an appeal saying the President cannot be compelled by the court, which he claims has misdirected itself.

Former MPs for Nkayi South, Abednico Bhebhe, Lupane East Njabuliso Mguni and Bulilima East Norman Mpofu lodged papers in the Bulawayo High Court last year seeking a declaratory order compelling ZEC to conduct by-elections in their constituencies, where they intend to stand as independent candidates.

The officials were fired from the MDC together with Alex Goosen, a member of the national executive council, for undermining the party’s authority.

Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa in an affidavit filed on Mugabe’s behalf opposed the application saying there were vacancies in seven Senate constituencies, 19 House of Assembly constituencies and 50 local authority wards and that government did not have $38 291 919 needed for the by-elections.

The three legislators say they will oppose the appeal.

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