Mugabe has 'broken the rules'

Robert Mugabe has five days from today to respond to a damaging lawsuit filed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over his and Zanu-PF's flagrant violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

The development has heightened tension in the coalition government.

Tsvangirai’s lawsuit, which challenges Mugabe’s unilateralism in the government of national unity, is opposing the Zanu-PF leaders’ arbitrary reappointment of provincial governors in spite of the constitution and the GPA stating the premier should be consulted on any senior government appointments.

In his application filed in the Harare High Court this week, Tsvangirai wants the court to declare Mugabe’s reappointment of 10 Zanu-PF governors null and void and in contravention of the constitution and the GPA.

"I bring this application to this honourable court in my capacity as the prime minister of Zimbabwe and in my personal capacity. As prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I have a duty and obligation to uphold the rule of law and to seek redress in the event of any violation of the constitution of Zimbabwe and/or the rule of law in general. I have the same right as a citizen. Personally and as prime minister, I am determined to fulfil and enforce the terms of the constitution and to reorient attitudes towards respect for the constitution, national laws, the rule of law and defence of democratic values," reads Tsvangirai’s founding affidavit.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe’s violation of the constitution had compelled him to file the application.

"Sadly, it appears the violations are intentional. Although there are numerous other instances of the first respondent violations of the law, especially in making appointments unilaterally, this application concerns the provincial governors," he said.

Under mediation by South African President Jacob Zuma, the SADC appointed facilitator in the Zimbabwe crisis, Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions agreed on a 5-4-1 formula in the appointment of governors.

The deal entailed Tsvangirai’s MDC-T getting five posts of governors, Mugabe’s Zanu-PF four and Mutambara’s MDC-M a single post, an agreement Tsvangirai said that Mugabe had vehemently refused to honour.

"It is my respectful contention the purported appointments of provincial governors by the first respondent on October 4 2010 or otherwise are void and/or, that the appointments are liable to be set aside."

Tsvangirai said Mugabe, who was the sitting president during the 2008 presidential election, came second in this election.

Tsvangirai said Zanu-PF had also lost the House of Assembly majority, which it had held since independence in 1980, and that on a larger, national scale, Zanu-PF had lost its previous dominance over urban and rural councils countrywide.

He reminded Mugabe it was the GNU which had brought them together.

"Whereas the constitution obliges the president to act ‘in consultation’ with me as prime minister, he must first secure my agreement.

"In this instance, the first respondent did not even consult me on the names appointed … It is my expectation the first respondent (Mugabe) will readily admit and concede that the important issue and key of appointment of provincial governors has been discussed between us and through our respective negotiating teams precisely for the reason he cannot lawfully make appointments alone."

He reminded Mugabe the matter had been on various SADC facilitated meetings held in January last year, November last year and as recently as August this year. – Times Live