Political analysts and opposition political parties are praying that the judiciary will today
conduct itself in a manner that is going to leave the credibility of Zimbabwe’s electoral and judiciary system permanently intact.
Today sees the start of the hearing of MDC Alliance president candidate Nelson Chamisa’s challenge of presidential results announced by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) which declared President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner.
Political analyst Gifford Sibanda said Zanu PF stands to gain from the court ruling.
“The case will basically die on technicalities,” he said. I am convinced that the court will follow the Zanu PF submissions for the case to be dismissed on technicalities because they know that if the case goes to the merits it won’t look good for Zanu PF.
“In this case Zanu PF won’t allow their gains to be reversed at all costs so in other words they will be always that third force to influence the outcome,” he said.
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said Zanu PF was in a fix as a result of the court case.
“It’s a very tight situation for the Zanu PF government, either way, whatever the court outcome; their legitimacy is under serious scrutiny,” Nkomo said.
“As an individual Chief Justice Malaba has been an upright person and we hope that he will conduct himself in a professional manner. In a manner that won’t show that there is executive interference on the judiciary,” he said.
Another political analyst Bhekumusa Moyo had this to say: “We have known our courts to be controlled by the ruling party for years but this time around I think this is not going to be easy not only for the Chief Justice but for president-elect Mnangagwa himself because the whole world is watching.”
Moyo added: “The judiciary has no option but to conduct itself in a transparent and fair manner because they will be setting a precedent in the African history of elections. So personally I think the outcome is unpredictable.”
Democratic Opposition Party (DOP) president Harry Wilson is praying for a fair and transparent handling of the case.
“We need the Chief Justice to do the best thing not only for Zanu PF but for the whole of Zimbabwe,” Wilson said.
“The whole world is watching to see if Zimbabwe has a credible judiciary system. It has to be clear that we have moved away from the Robert Mugabe era where the judiciary system was not functioning, where it was obvious that the executive had maximum interference on the court case outcomes.
“I am not for Chamisa or Mnangagwa but all I want is the judiciary to act in a fair and transparent manner. Zimbabweans need proper results in this kind of context. If it fails we should just go for a rerun and do proper elections which are not contested like this. We need a credible election, not this.”
People’s Progressive Party of Zimbabwe Timothy Chiguvare said the judiciary was seriously under check.
“While the independence of our judiciary is questionable because for the past three decades it was being controlled by the executive…,
The chief justice has to do the best for the people of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe expect nothing except the best and nothing else. We need the international media to cover the court proceedings live for the world to see,” Chiguvare said.
Adding that: “The Chief Justice has no choice because failure to handle this case properly will cause anarchy in this country.”
Zapu national spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa was also of the view that Zanu PF’s history of interfering with the judiciary system was written all over.
“Zanu PF has a history of blatant interference with the country’s judiciary system, so even this time around they will leave nothing to chance, especially considering the importance of this challenge to their stranglehold to power and the risk involved,” Maphosa said.
He said this was a matter of life and death for the ‘‘military dictatorship’’ and their arrogance is sure to have the better of them.
“However, I personally have known Justice Malaba to be highly professional in his conduct, hence a little glimmer of hope in this particular case.
“Should he succeed in resisting Zanu PF, he and his bench could take this particular opportunity to restore the independence and professionalism of the justice system where fairness could be achieved,” he said.
Maphosa added: “Should he succumb to pressure from the military dictatorship, I personally foresee the case being dismissed merely on technicalities since Zanu PF would not want to delve into the matter fearing being exposed.”
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