Army intervention constitutionally correct: High Court

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.


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.

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  1. Lets not justify an illegality here, this one everyone turned his back on it including the international community because we wanted Mugabe gone ,but there is no soft or better coup there are very very bad.

  2. awkward!!! so the military has captured the judiciary? just thinking aloud!

  3. sugar quote it all you want the fact still remains that we effectively under military rule.

  4. The party squabbles were now impacting negatively on the security and stability of the state, going all the way back to the issue of munyaradzi kereke who was allegedly charged with raping a ten year old under gunpoint which is as ludicrous as it can get, the firing of the old pg for disagreeing with the first lady, the firing of teurairopa on flimsy accusations, rescinding the appointment of the new pg ray goba on dubious grounds of due process not having been followed …
    The first lady was now wildly loose and needed to be tamed as she now also threatened to take down the army-generals for not supporting her cause and her gang.
    As the karanga saying goes
    Kutusva benzi nomupururu rinodzana rikavhunika gumbo;
    and, truly the mad first lady and first family surely danced its legs to a broken state. The nathaniel manheru column once warned them that
    chinhu ichi chine varidzi vacho
    and they could not hearken.
    They paid the price for intransigence and over-excitement.
    Party structures, party operatives and personalities were too timid and unprincipled to arrest the rot. The army had to therefore move in and whether this is called a coup or not, the truth is that it was right and appropriate and justifiable under the law as the judge clearly indicated.

  5. Here is an excerpt of the relevant part of the constitution:
    212 Function of Defence Forces
    The function of the Defence Forces is to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and
    interests and its territorial integrity and to uphold this Constitution.

    ZPF is a private not national organisation

  6. 212 Function of Defence Forces
    The function of the Defence Forces is to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and
    interests and its territorial integrity and to uphold this Constitution.
    213 Deployment of Defence Forces
    Subject to this Constitution, only the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, has
    (a) to authorise the deployment of the Defence Forces; or
    (b) has power to determine the operational use of the Defence Forces.

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