Thursday, April 17, 2008

Zimbabwe: Election Shocker - Supreme Court Could Order Re-Run -


THE Supreme Court may tell a rerun of last month's presidential election this afternoon when it sees a constitutional application brought by the leadership of two minor political parties.

A full bench of 10 Supreme Court Judges will see whether the Republic Of Republic Of Zimbabwe Electoral Committee (ZEC) violated the constitutional rights of Justin Chiota and Daniel Shumba, who caput the Zimbabwe Peoples' Party and the United People's Party respectively, when it refused to acknowledge their nomination document at the sitting of the nomination tribunal on February 15.

A bill of exchange order dated April 15 and lodged at the Supreme Court seeks to declare Chiota and Shumba duly nominated as campaigners in the presidential election.

The consequence of a opinion in the duo's favor will be significant; it would intend the presidential election would have got to be rerun.

Chiota have told the tribunal that on nomination day, he arrived at the nomination tribunal at 1330 hours and attempted to lodge his document as a presidential candidate. But constituency registrar, Saint Ignatius Mushangwe, advised him that his document were soiled and could not be accepted.

Chiota was advised to fill up in new papers, and informed that he could still lodge them even after the 4pm deadline, because "as long as I was within the nomination tribunal I would be entitled to show the document once I had filled them in", he submits in tribunal papers.

Shumba, who arrived at 1545hours, was advised to wait until Chiota had completed his papers.

However, after the deadline had passed, Mushangwe declined to accept the two aspirant presidential candidates' papers.

"If the alleviation sought in this application is not granted on an pressing footing we will endure irreparable injury as the procedure of the election will be completed with the proclamation of the results. We have got no option remedy, which would accomplish the same consequence as the order being sought in this application.

"In the circumstances, we inquire that our application be determined on an pressing basis. The substance is also pressing because the 1st respondent (ZEC) have already announced the consequences for the House of Assembly. Unless this order is granted, nil will halt the respondent from announcing the consequences for the Presidential election."

ZEC's non-acceptance of their document "constitutes misdemeanor of our rights to freedom of look and association, which are protected by Sections 20 and 21 of the Fundamental Law of Republic Of Republic Of Zimbabwe respectively", the two argue.

They made the application to the Supreme Court in footing of Section 24 (1) of the Fundamental Law of Zimbabwe for "a declaration that Sections 20 and 21 have got been contravened in relation to ourselves."

Relevant Links

Results of the presidential election have got been delayed for stopping point to three weeks, prompting a draw between ZANU-PF and the chief resistance Motion for Democratic Change, which claims its leader Lewis Henry Morgan Tsvangirai won the election outright.

The deadlock have attracted broad international attention, and saw Southern African Development Community leadership name a particular acme last weekend.

But today's Supreme Court opinion would add a daze new turn to the full saga.

No comments: