Civic and opposition activists have warned President elect, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa against interfering with court processes saying he must allow Constitutional court judges to independently preside over the MDC Alliance Presidential election challenge.
This follows Mnangagwa’s tweet last week that he had intervened in the release of MDC Alliance principal, Tendai Biti who was arrested at the Zimbabwe/Zambia border post while escaping the country to seek political asylum.
In his tweet, President Mnangagwa wrote,
STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF TENDAI BITI
Tendai Biti was released earlier today following my intervention.
At such a crucial time in the history of the new Zimbabwe, nothing is more important than unity, peace and dialogue. (1/3)
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) August 9, 2018
Civic groups accused Mnangagwa of pocking his nose in judicial matters urging him to allow the courts to give a fair judgement on the election result challenge.
“Now we have a dispute in the Constitutional Court arising largely from ZEC’s incompetence to play the impartial referee. Nevertheless, the nation looks forward to the judiciary, the third most powerful arm of the state to pick up the pieces, weigh the matter as judiciously as they can, bearing in mind above all, there is God in heaven, the first and Greater Judge is watching.
“We therefore in the same breadth would like to warn and urge President Elect Cde ED Mnangagwa to uphold the sanctity of the separation of powers and allow the courts unfettered freedom to adjudicate without fear of any reprisals nor threat from those in power,” said Pastor Guthrie Maluse while addressing a media conference in Harare last week.
He also said that the 12 judges currently seized with this matter should brook no interference from any quarter be it the executive with its long tentacles nor the opposition or anyone for that matter. This is particularly so given that recently Mnangagwa intimated that he had given some instructions presumably to the courts in the raging Tendai Biti of the MDC Alliance’s case, a position the nation deemed as clear interference with the independence of the judiciary.
Gift Ostallos Siziba of the Generational Consensus also blasted Mnangagwa saying his long career as a lawyer should have helped him to understand principles of separation of power.
“It is is sad that After so many years as a lawyer ED fails to understand the principle of Separation of powers and Judicial independence. He is not yet declared a president and to interfere with the courts will further break the little confidence which was left in out justice delivery system. Even if he is declared president,the executive must not interfere with the judiciary,” he said.