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Chamisa lawyers cornered


OPPOSITION MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s bid to engage five foreign lawyers in his presidential election challenge could hit a brick-wall, as they are yet to be cleared to practise locally.


MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday said while the application for exemption by the lawyers had reached him, there were gaps that might prove difficult to deal with given the limited time left for the sitting of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) tomorrow.

“I received an application for ministerial exemption for (South African) advocates Dali Mpofu, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Jeremy Gauntlet, Mitchell Jason and Tapiwa Shumba on Friday around 2pm.

“They wrote in general that they were applying for a ministerial exemption, but did not provide details of the lawyers’ qualifications, so I can apply my mind in consultation with the Council for Legal Education as required by law,” Ziyambi said.

On Sunday, Ziyambi said government would do everything to make sure the expatriate lawyers get the necessary work permits to practice tomorrow when the ConCourt sits to hear the landmark case.

The application was in terms of Section 7 of the Legal Practitioners Act that provides that: “Where the minister after consultation with the Council for Legal Education is satisfied that having regard to the importance, complexity and special circumstances of the matter, it is just and reasonable for a person to obtain the services of a legal practitioner who has special or particular experience relating

to such matter and such legal practitioner is not normally resident in Zimbabwe, but is from a reciprocating country, he may grant a certificate exempting the legal practitioner from satisfying the requirement of Section 5 of the Act.”

Section 5 of the Legal Practitioners Act relates to requirements that lawyers ordinarily have to meet in order to practise in Zimbabwe.

Ziyambi yesterday said after going through the application from Atherstone & Cook Legal Practitioners on behalf of the five advocates, there was communication in a bid to iron out the gaps.

“I wrote to them in the morning indicating they had not furnished me with sufficient information to apply my mind. They wrote back around 3pm this afternoon (yesterday). I have now written to the Council for Legal Education as required by law,” he said.

“When I get the recommendation from the Council for Legal Education, I will then check if the other requirements have been met. I must, however, emphasise that when they wrote back, they did not provide information relating to the others except for Gauntlet.”

But Chamisa said Zanu PF felt threatened by their team, adding that Ziyambi was biased and would not make a fair arbiter.

“We are resolving that and, in fact, we are working flat out to make sure that there is no obstacle to our team. They (Zanu PF) should not be afraid of our team, you don’t target members of our team because you are afraid of the A Team that we are going to give and, of course, people like Ziyambi Ziyambi are also interested parties and they cannot be fair arbiters on this matter, but we will deal with that and our legal team is well seized with the matter. It is being sorted out,” he said while addressing a Press conference yesterday.

Chamisa said he was confident that his legal team would overturn the electoral fraud he claims was engineered by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in favour of President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“I fully understand your anxiety as a nation around the upcoming court case that we are challenging after the subversion of the will of the people by Zec in cahoots with some of the rogue elements that are in our midst,” he said.

“I would like to guarantee you that we have a very strong case and we are going to overturn this electoral fraud consistent with what we promised that we are going to defend your vote, our vote, the people’s vote.”

But Mnangagwa’s lawyers yesterday took exception to Chamisa’s remarks, saying they were meant to intimidate the ConCourt bench and force the judges to rule in his favour.

“His latest pronouncements, which are very much in character, show a continued pre-disposition towards political violence, and well-calculated attempts at poisoning the environment for a fair trial by instilling fear in judges so they may, as a result of fear, subvert the law in his favour,” Patrick Chinamasa, one of Mnangagwa’s lawyers, said.

“It defies legal sense why a person who is an officer of the court seeks to make extra-judicial pronouncements while still making court submissions at the same time, and ahead of due process only two days away.”

Lawyers who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was going to be difficult for Chamisa to get his lawyers exempted.

“Maybe Gauntlet might have a chance of being registered, but the others, it’s probably too little too late. Section 2 describes a reciprocating country as one that has a statutory instrument issued after consultation with the Chief Justice and the Council for Legal Education. The statutory instrument must then be gazetted. It’s likely too late for this unless President Mnangagwa intervenes,” NewsDay heard.

In his address, Chamisa said it would be painful for the country to have to wait another five years, while alleging that there is generally lack of confidence both within and outside Zimbabwe.

He said besides the court challenge, they would also pursue a political route to ensure that their victory is protected.

“What is on trial is not Nelson Chamisa or the MDC Alliance.

“What is on trial is democracy, what is on trial is free and fair elections, what is on trial is a credible plebiscite and this is why we are very happy that we have constituted and configured together an A Team of experienced, tested and veteran legal experts drawn from the best legal minds in the region and in the country,” he said.

On reports that some international jurists are coming to observe the process, Chamisa said: “We welcome any kind of international spotlight and I have reached out to a number of countries and I have met with international diplomats, the EU [European Union] and the USA [United States] to try and sensitise them in the need for us to have a fair process in the country and I am happy with the support and solidarity we are getting. It is so exciting and encouraging.”

Chamisa urged his supporters to remain resolute and refuse to be cowed.

“We must not be intimidated by anymore. We are masters of our destiny and for that reason, we must defend our vote within the confines of peace, without being intimidated. Change doesn’t come easily,” he said.

“The darkest hour is near dawn and we know that we are going to go through the valleys of unhappiness, but ultimately the summit of victory is going to be reached and we are almost there.”

The youthful opposition leader said those in the rural areas were under Zanu PF captivity. He accused Zanu PF of acting like a terror group and intimidating people, particularly in the rural areas.

“For the past 38 years, people in the rural areas have been subjected to captivity and one wonders the behaviour of colleagues in Zanu PF is totally deplorable. They want to behave in a manner that al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, Isis would behave — using terrorism as a way of mobilising consent in society and that is what they are doing in rural areas,” Chamisa said.

“Under normal circumstances, these organisations will have to be examined to see if it is a normal political party that is allowed in a democratic society because you cannot use violence, terror as a basis of organising society.”

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  1. It’s quite refreshing to see that God has placed a young warrior in our midst full of energy & vigour to fight for our freedom to the bitter end. Well done Chamisa, keep up the good fight against evil

  2. Who told you God placed your young warrior in our midst. Who told you he is interested in fighting for our freedom. It doesn’t need an intellectual juggernaut to figure out Chamisa is doing all this for himself. So that he can get onto the gravy train or ship to loot. That’s in black presidents’ DNA with only a few exceptions. Sometimes the modified adage holds true: the looter you know is better than the looter you don’t know.

  3. This Chamisa guy is a very dangerous person. I see him getting to the dustbin of political play very soon.

    • You are very right doctor. He complains about war vets having a press conference yet he is having press conferences almost on a daily basis. Is he the only one with the freedom to have press conferences? He already talks of the outgoing Mnangagwa. Is that not prejudging the outcome like he did with the election results? This guy wants power at any cost.

  4. He is a good fighter but lacks proper management skills. For examples he is always late to do everything except press conference. He will loose his case on tenchnicalities because of his lateness

  5. The Minister has issued a statement concerning the lawyers and i am not sure why we continue to manufacture lies to justify and paint a grim picture of the political situation in Zimbabwe its very sad there are procedures to be followed and adhered to and its as simple as that.

  6. Comment…This is plausible and very interesting and we want to thank God who gave the nation this young man whose courage, wisdom and astuteness is unquestionable. The young man proved to be the real substitute and gap filler of the void left by the first president of the The Republic, Robert Mugabe.

    Those who doubt him are a bunch of criminals tormenting Zimbabwe, those that are eating away the small cake of this nation while the majority is in deep poverty.

  7. Mnangagwa isnt just a looter we know, hes also a killer and gukurahundist who refused to apologise and we still fear him.

    • shut up you know nothing about gukurahundi and in any case let the people of matebeleland north and south speak and by the way they spoke in the just ended elections and they sent a good message to those who are still masquerading as their sympathisers they exposed the Lies being perpetrated both by our brothers and sisters in this country and the Lies they are feeding foreign news agencies about their exact position, election numbers have proved otherwise.

      • Are you the Gukurahundi spokesperson? or one of those cowardly terrorists who used to bayonet unarmed pregnant women?

    • He the he/she should be Zimbabwean but might have acquired his law degree, got accredited and practiced in a country other than Zimbabwe in this instance RSA

    • i wouldn’t call it panicking but its the only way he can reach everyone from every corner of Zimbabwe, whatsapp twitter and so on can be subjected to alterations………..i don not oppose any 1’s party but what we all should know as Zimbabweans is that the future is not for the old and that supporting political parties is different from supporting soccer teams therefore hakusi kusvitesana but we are to support a better future…..handivakise sekuru vangu imba ingawa coz havachina simba dzangove nharo dzewakura.

  8. he is happy with the support He is getting from EU and USA (of sanctions?) chamisa has to be serious guys. I think God has to punish this young man. do you know that that sanction is a dangerous weapon? it kills innocent people like you and me not Chamisa not Mnangagwa,if he is serious and concerned about the welfare yevana vemuZimbabwe he has to condemn the issue of sanctions but if he is in support of it then to be honest with you guys he is worse than those soldiers who killed innocent people in the town

      • And u are nt a fool kumhanyiswa kuno defender vote nemunhu akutorowa hake ma popcorn rallying u on twitter, saka uraiwai f u dnt reason,
        here z d thing, gukurahundi, many opposition wr killed and 02′ and 08′ alot of opposition supporters wr butchered, uknw wt z similar, instead of Nkomo and Tsvangirai advocating for compensation to aggrieved families, ey jus went to bed wt Mugabe and until ey wr off power, ey wl not tok of d deaths until d nxt campaign period, don go to ese streets my compatriots u wl get ponned 4 Chamisa to get into gvt..

      • The real fool is you. You know nothing and you sympathise with an idiot like Nero who wants to see us suffering through sanctions

    • @ Chokwadi. If truth be told it is people like Chamisa and his followers who pander to Western dictates and takes every opportunity to complain to the USA and EU that makes our SADC and AU see him as an unpalatable leader of an African nation. Politicians who advocate for sanctions against their own country as a leverage to get into power are extremely dangerous demagogues. I see shades of Moise Tschombe in this young opportunist.

  9. But why were the applications for these lawyers presented late, i suspect it was a late decision to rope those in. And is their involvement not going to place undue pressure on the bench

  10. Even if Chamisa brings a million lawyers, the fact that he does not have any evidence will not change. Chamisa made us believe he had v11 forms with evidence but that story later changed as we were now told his agents were forced to sign them by zanu pf. I wonder why non of the observers managed to pick that. If anything, foreign lawyers will be a disaster since they are not well versed to working with the zimbabwean constitution. We are likely to witness another hard talk episode tommorow.

  11. Comment…freedom must be 100%,hazvirevi kuti kuita maelection musinga rohwe zvoreva kuti ari free and fair .Maelection akabiwa zvisina noise Chamisa arikuziva zvaari kutaura.

  12. enough is enough with tyrants in africa zimbabwe is better with mdc than the zanupf criminal these are the guys who destroyed zim children of zimbabwe are all over the world looking for means to survive because of zanupf for 38 years they have failed mnangagwa was there can a crocodile change itsskin no zanupf are looters and killers oppressors of black people they destroyed industries .health education even agriculture no clean water in harare smith was better than zanu there were food jobs good roads good health system what did zanu brough Misery only a fool can support these looter mabhinya they brough in other thieves mafias chinese the new colonisers to loot minerals while china support their dictatorship under zanu there is misery chamisa is doing a good job pasi with zanu who sacrifice blood to stay in power what is the different between zany pf and the devil the devil has come to steal and kill and zanu is there to steal and kill

  13. We love foreign things though…. So in Zimbabwe our attorneys are inferior and we don’t have enough skills. We have very big problems.

  14. Zanu Pf has made Zimbabweans the joke of Africa even Rwanda and Mozambique are thriving while you support your Zanu Pf very shameful. You as Zimbabweans should have some pride and dignity, you all face some form of discrimination abroad be it in South Africa, Zambia, Europe, USA and even Asia where you are regarded as peasants, all because you have become too comfortable living in poverty yet you claim to be the most educated country in Africa. Anyone that supports a regime that has failed to develop a country for over 30 years is pathetic period!!

  15. The opposition is the one that has brought about the suffering in zim. It is comon knowledge that these sanctions were crafted by mdc fronted by Welshman Ncube and signed into american law by George W Bulshit, sorry for a wrong spellings, I mean George W Bush.

  16. This is why this nation is at a cross roads. Whether a person supports MDC or Zanu-Pf, they are still Zimbabwean. We have allowed political parties (especially these two) to divide us for their selfish gain for far too long. They poison your minds to the extent you hate each other. The day we stop voting along party lines (voting actual people on merit and not because they are from some party) is the day we will progress as a Nation. In fact when we start seeing independents that are accountable to their constituencies and not parties true change will come to Zimbabwe.

    I promise you that, whatever the result of this whole court thing, it was never meant to benefit Zimbabweans in the first place. None of those people even care for the people. If they did, it would never have gone that far. No matter what you say, between ED and Chamisa, none of them won a clear mandate from the election. They were both rejected at the ballot by nearly half of the voters, however you look at it.

  17. It is unfortunate that we all let sentiment and emotion take the place of fact and substance. While we can not rule out that Ziyambi Ziyambi and or our benches may have men and women who are ‘interested parties’ it is a bit off-line to suggest everyone from a constable to the Chief Justice and Minister of Justice are interested parties who are bend on ensuring that Chamisa loses and ED wins unless Mr Chamisa is telling us that should he get into power that’s how he will appoint men and women into those offices, to serve him and not justice and democracy. If that is the case then SORRY ZIMBABWE. Chamisa anenge ari mwana waED uye ari chizukuru chaaMugabe.

  18. Once inaugurated, President Mnangagwa should declare Chamisa and his MDC a terrorist organization. Thereafter ban them because this young man is trying to incite violence. The kind of mindset he has shown is that of a person who, when he falls into a pity during a fight, will drag anyone even his rescuers into the same pit for the sake of wanting to be at par. Chamisa should know that Mnangagwa is the President elect and tomorrow is D-day when he(Chamisa) will be dumped into the political dustbin for the next 10 years because we will definitely ammend the constitutional presidential age limit. Hatidi pwere muPolitics. Ichoooo

  19. Chamisa wati Chamisa adai ndidzo news here dzinovaka nyika idzodzo. its good to hear kuti ED arikutiwo kudini nenyaya ye cash crisis because ndiye arikutonga nyika until 2023. good reporting rbegins with you

  20. The late great Paul Mkondo, “Vanongorovana nekunetserana mabhonzo, isu tichongodudunya nekungodudunya munyepfu nezviropa.” Endererai mberi nema demonstration nekurovanana isu tichichera matombo mumigodhi nekurima tichingodudunya nekududunya.Hamumbofi makationa mumademonsration edu iwayo, bodo, chedu kududunya nekududunya mondo nehuchi wenyika yedu.

  21. Kkkkkkk wezhira wezhara thats wat i call an excellent analysis…yours.that alliance of streetkids and hooligans is a terrorist org sure a product of americas cia.chamisa is delusional.politics is a numbers game.if you dnt hav the majority it simply means you hav the minority so how then could you declare urself as winner?given that it was chigumbas mandate to declare the winner duly elected president you chamisa declared urself winner as if u were zec chairperson.waita mwana iwe puppet yema british

  22. ….by instilling fear in judges so they may, as a result of fear, subvert the law in his favour,” Patrick Chinamasa..

    What an ironic statement from a ZANU PF stalwart!

  23. cONFIDENCE IS GOOD, OVERZEALOUSNESS IS NOT. Remember this guy before the ELECTIONS, he puts everybody under pressure including himself. A belief system before an abirter is not claimed before its heard. Outcomes should be accepted as an OUTCOME, not to contest the out come before the hearing. KUTI KANA NDISINA KUHWINA HAISI FAIR.

  24. I thinknMnangagwa is trading on shallow waters betting the case be trown off or out on basis of
    (a) a technicality filling the paper late which is arguable and may not be valid since they have both been called to court
    (b)again basing that there is no evidence and what if the actuall evidence is presented in court what would his team of lawyers do after that?

    Mnangagwa and ZEC need to prove beyond any doubt the creadibility of election and results before the courts and prove Chamisa wrong but hey its just my opinion

    For now seat back relax and enjoy the show tommorrow have a lot of popcorn with you and a cold beverage which ever you like….

  25. kkkkkkkk vanhu ve MDC munotaurisa sterek. Before elections maiti kudiiko? Mangwana futi hokoyo ne BP. Chamisa anotaurisa but kutonga haatonge musazvinyepere and as i said before elections kuti kuzhandukira kwake hakusi kungwara kana kuhwina mirai ka muone futi handiti mangwana ndiye chitatu. Kkkkkkk.

  26. Chamisa you are threatening why? What is your relationship with Mugabe? Why did you say Mugabe is better than ED? In what ways is Mugabe better? You mean doing business with you makes him better. For what reasons did you and your guys take to violence? What violations had been committed beyond any reasonable doubt. Your alliance and support from the Mugabes is regrettable, I need my vote. Did you study law or violence? Zimbabwe must remain peaceful we do not need another Somalia, Libya, Syria. Is it part of intelligence to invite problems from the USA and allies to punish Zimbabweans who voted for you? Do you believe in God, peace, peace and peace that what we need stop inciting violence in the name of conference if you are not Zimbabwean pack your bags and go. You want violence but Zimbabweans want peace, you yearn for destruction but Zimbabweans need development. Go and enjoy with your diplomats whose countries have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. After your success or failure pack your bags and follow your diplomats as their stodgy.

  27. Chief Justice Luke Malaba is now 67 years old and a think his age is very important. He is a mature person and a believe whatever ruling he and his team will hand down will be the best decision. Young people tend to decide according to how they feel but elderly people decide according to how they reason. So whatever ruling that will come from the chief justice and his team, whether i like it or not, it will be the best and that will be my consolation. Whichever way it will go, i will emerge a big winner.

  28. Is this Chamisa guy still sane. What is he going on about. The court case is tomorrow so what is his noise about. Is this matter supposed to be presided over by the public he keeps bombarding with press statements. Something is wrong with this young man. He should shut up sit down and wait for the courts or present his case to the courts. Why is he making such effort to convince us we are not the courts. Why does he not save his energy for the court. I smell a rate; he actually knows the outcome he is playing around with our emotions.

  29. God help us. Chamisa does not like Zimbabweans, only their votes. To him everything from Zimbabwe is inferior. What I can tell you that if we make the mistake of making this young dictator President Zimbabwe will soon be like Iraq, Afghanstan, Uganda and Libya. He will call Americans to set up base here and run everything with impunity.Kana taka abuswa sei hapana anoti bufu. Look at whats happening in Uganda, people are being abused and killed daily by Museveni but nothing will happen to him because he tores the American line. Never have a President who is friends with America the way Chamisa is. Its a recipe for disaster.

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