Court dismisses bid for UN-supervised polls

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HARARE – The Constitutional Court (Con-Court) has dismissed an appeal by a serial litigant calling for a referendum to decide whether to allow the United Nations (UN) to monitor the country’s 2018 elections or not.


Ignatius Masamba — an aspiring presidential candidate in next year’s elections — approached the Con-Court after his application was thrown out by High Court judge Happious Zhou on the basis that it was “a meaningless and flagrant abuse of the court process.”


Chief Justice Luke Malaba also ruled that Masamba’s application is not a constitutional matter, adding that he also failed to follow procedures which require him to first seek leave to appeal before he approached the Con-Court.


He said that the court has no power to tell the National Assembly to comply with an order he was seeking, instead suggesting that he should petition Parliament rather than approach the courts.


In the Con-Court application, Masamba cited Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa as the respondent.


“If Zimbabwe under foreign policy prevalently takes part by sending its police and or army to foreign soils, why must Zimbabwe’s leaders of government not want the settlement of the staple dispute about alleged general elections rigging perennially complained of here by opposition political party leaders….to be neutrally resolved by the UN through the UN supervising the 2018 general election?


“Why must events here not be under the microscopic eye of the UN directly to monitor one of the perennially disputed about election results, in 2018; then (President Robert) Mugabe will be exonerated if he wins.”


The Attorney General’s Office argued that Masamba’s appeal was not properly before the Con-Court, because it failed to adhere to the rules of the court.

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