MDC president Welshman Ncube yesterday described the decision by the Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku-led Constitutional Court ordering President Robert Mugabe to hold elections by July 31 as “plainly wrong”.
REPORT BY STAFF REPORTER
The Constitutional Court last Friday ruled that the failure by Mugabe to fix and proclaim the date or dates for harmonised general elections by June 29 this year was a violation of his constitutional duty towards the country’s citizens.
The court observed that Mugabe had violated his functions as a public officer in accordance with the law and to observe and uphold the rule of law in terms of Section 18(1) of the Constitution.
“Accordingly, the first respondent (Mugabe) be and is hereby ordered and directed to proclaim as soon as possible a date(s) for the holding of the Presidential election, general election and elections for the members of governing bodies of local authorities in terms of Section 58(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which elections should take place by no later than July 31, 2013,” Justice Chidyausiku ruled.
In a statement titled From a Constitutional Lawyer’s Perspective, Ncube said: “No court of law should ask us to believe and accept that 1 plus 1 equals 3. I have read and re-read the majority judgment over and over, again and again and I have read again and again the provisions of the former constitution and the current constitution that fell for interpretation and my mind refuses to accept the possibility of the correctness of that judgment.
“To accept that judgment as correct would amount to me committing grave violence on my intellect. With the greatest respect, the majority judgment is plainly wrong. One plus one is not three. Yes, the judgment binds us and we have to comply with it to the extent that it will be possible to do so, but we cannot accept that it is correct when it is plainly wrong.”
Ncube, who is also the Industry and Commerce minister, said a judgment by the final court in the land had far-reaching implications considering that “if it is wrong, it is uncorrectable”.
He said the power to be the final arbiter in any country came with immense responsibility, hence such a court in any country should be scrupulously careful and responsible.
“We all need to respect court judgments because not to do so invites anarchy. Courts of law should in turn avoid, at all costs, inviting intellectual ridicule on themselves.
When you have immense final judicial authority, as does our Constitutional Court, you must not make judgments which tell us that 1 plus 1 equals 3. We all know that 1 plus 1 equals 2, NOT 3.”