Mugabe Loses, Given Ultimatum

Harare, – The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by President Robert Mugabe challenging a High Court decision directing him to gazette a date for by-elections in three parliamentary constituencies in Matabeleland Provinces and ordered him to issue a notice announcing the vacancies in the constituencies by the end of August.

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President Mugabe had appealed against part of Justice Nicholas Ndou’s ruling granted in October 2011 ordering the ZANU PF leader to ensure by-elections for Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East were conducted as they were constitutionally long overdue.

But on Thursday Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku issued an operative part of the Supreme Court judgment (the order) dismissing President Mugabe’s appeal and ordering him to publish in the Government Gazette “a notice ordering new elections to fill the vacancies as soon as possible but by no later than 30 August 2012.”

The appeal was heard last Thursday by Chief Justice Chidyausiku, Judge of Appeal (JA) Justice Vernanda Ziyambi, JA Paddington Garwe, JA Anne-Mary Gowora and Acting Judge of Appeal Justice Yunus Omerjee.

President Mugabe was taken to court by three former MDC-M Members of Parliament Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu in 2010 after their parliamentary membership was terminated following their suspension and subsequent expulsion from the MDC M party.

Bhebhe, Mguni and Mpofu were represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Ndabezinhle Mazibuko of Calderwood Bryce Hendrie&Partners Legal Practitioners, while President Mugabe was represented by Advocate Ray Goba.

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