THE intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) in Zanu PF’s political squabbles leading to the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe was constitutional, as the military sought to restore order in the country, High Court judge President George Chiweshe has ruled.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Justice Chiweshe’s ruling followed an urgent chamber application by political activists Joseph Evurath Sibanda and Leonard Chikomba, who argued through their lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu that Mugabe had failed to control the government which was now under the leadership of his wife, Grace, and her G40 cabal, hence, the need for the military’s intervention.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is declared that: The actions of the second respondent (ZDF) in intervening to stop the take-over of first respondent’s (Mugabe) constitutional functions by those around him are constitutionally permissible and lawful in terms of section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in that; (a) they arrest first respondent’s abdication of constitutional function, and (b) they ensure that non-elected officials do not exercise executive functions which can only be exercised by elected constitutional functionaries,” Justice Chiweshe said.
“It is consequently ordered that the actions of the second respondent, being constitutionally valid, second respondent has the right to take all such measures and undertake all such acts as will bring the desired end to its intervention.”
In their heads of argument, the two men said the basis upon which they had made such an application was that on November 14, 2017, the ZDF, acting in accordance with provisions of section 212 of the Constitution, moved in to protect its citizenry, the security of the nation and her interests.
The duo said Mugabe had failed to execute his functions which were now under the mercy of Grace and her G40 cabal.
“Recently, Grace Mugabe, together with a gang going by the moniker G40, had unfortunately captured the first respondent. For that reason, he has been unable to execute his functions and has completely abdicated his functions which were now being exercised by his wife and the gang of 40,” they said.
“First respondent no longer makes key government decisions which are now being made by his wife and the G40. It is public knowledge that Mrs Mugabe went on a crusade against the country’s former Vice-President, Dr Joice Mujuru, telling everyone that she was to be ousted. In the event, she was. The decision was clearly not of the first respondent.”
Mpofu was assisted by Advocate Sylvester Hashiti and C Maunga.