Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has dismissed independent candidate and former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal challenging his disqualification from contesting the presidential race on August 23.
Delivering judgment this week, the three-member bench, led by deputy chief justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, sitting with justices Paddington Garwe and Rita Makarau, ruled that Kasukuwere’s appeal is a “disguised appeal not properly before the court”, saying all remedies are supposed to be exhausted at the supreme court.
“On a consideration of the submission made before us, it seems the first issue is whether the application is properly before this court. The applicant moves for the setting aside of the whole judgment of the supreme court. This relief is ordinarily available on appeal.
“Apart from attacking the correctness of the decision of the court, the applicant did not attack the supreme court on how it handled the matter in terms of the rules of court. The court finds that the application being a disguised appeal is not properly before the court. The application be and is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs,” said the deputy chief justice.
Kasukuwere has exhausted all legal avenues to challenge his disqualification in the election. The appeal to the Constitutional Court was a last-ditch effort.
The supreme court threw out the former cabinet minister’s appeal challenging the high court’s decision to bar him from contesting the presidential elections. This came after a Zanu-PF activist, Lovedale Mangwana, challenged his nomination and sought his disqualification because he has been living outside Zimbabwe for more than 18 months.
Responding to the Constitutional Court decision, the former cabinet minister, who has been in self-imposed exile in South Africa since 2017, said he will continue his fight and return to the supreme court to make another appeal.
“We have noted the judgment and interestingly it opens new avenues for us to appeal the supreme court judgment and luckily we are still within time. As long as the courtrooms are open, it’s game on until the fat lady sings. Professor Welshman, advocate Method Ndlovu and advocate Mutero and team, well done. Battles are lost, but not the war. We fight on,” said Kasukuwere.
Kasukuwere’s lawyer, Jaqueline Sande, said that they will continue the fight to get him onto the ballot paper.
“Where that takes us is back to the supreme court where we are going to seek leave to appeal against that supreme court judgment which upheld the high court’s judgment barring Saviour Kasukuwere from participating in the upcoming elections. It is not over for us. We are going to fight and ensure that president Saviour Kasukuwere participates as a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections,” said Sande.
But time is running out for the former cabinet minister. The dismissal of his appeal paves the way for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to print the ballot papers for the elections due in about two weeks.
The leading candidates in the August 23 election are incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
Source: Times Live