The fate of three expelled MPs for the then MDC–M to have by- elections conducted in their respective constituencies hangs in the balance as the High Court has remained mum five months after reserving judgment on the matter.
High Court judge Justice Nicholas Ndou has not delivered his judgment which he reserved on February 1 after an official from the Attorney-General’s Office, Fortune Chimbaru, sought for the judgment to be reserved for three months in anticipation of the dissolution of Parliament by President Robert Mugabe.
Nkayi South MP, Abednico Bhebhe, Lupane East’s Njabuliso Mguni and Bulilima West’s Norman Mpofu filed an application at the High Court in Bulawayo seeking an order compelling President Mugabe to set dates for by-elections in their constituencies.
They cited Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman, Simpson Mutambanengwe, ZEC and President Mugabe as first, second and third respondents.
However, the three month- period has since lapsed with the AG’s Office choosing to be silent on the matter and election dates have not been gazzeted as consented by the parties.
A perusal of the court record HC1485/10 at the Bulawayo High Court yesterday revealed the three former MPs through their lawyer, Matshobana Ncube, had written to the High Court for the matter to be disposed of.
The AG’s Office had suggested the matter may be resolved out of court within a period of 60 days failing which the court would be at large deal with the mater.
In their argument, the trio said President Mugabe should set dates for the by-elections in terms of the Electoral Act as the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti’s 2011 National Budget made provisions for the by-elections.
They said the argument raised by President Mugabe that government had no money was not valid. Chimbaru said should the election dates not be gazetted in two months the order should be granted in the case.
Ncube agreed to the deferment of the order by consent and said there has to be finality to the matter.