Tsvangirai throws in the towel

via Tsvangirai throws in the towel Friday, 16 August 2013 18:47

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today withdrew his presidential election court challenge in which he was calling for the nullification of the 31 July elections won by Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe.

The MDC leader, who argued that Mugabe had won through massive fraud, is reported to have withdrawn the petition because he had not been furnished with the election material that he had requested.

Tsvangirai also said the presence of Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at the National Heroes Acre addressed by President-elect Robert Mugabe was likely to deprive him of a fair hearing.

The MDC national executive had met earlier in the day to review developments in the courts which had a bearing on the presidential petition.

The statement issued by the MDC before Tsvangirai’s withdrawal.


Friday, 16 August 2013

MDC Press Statement, 16 August 2013, Harvest House, Harare

The National Executive Committee of the MDC met in Harare today, to review among many other things developments in the courts which have a bearing on the Presidential Petition.

The Executive noted with concern that the Electoral Court has reserved judgement on the issue. It appears unlikely that the material requested will be made available before the hearing of the Constitutional Court. The MDC is extremely worried that the delay in making a determination on the availability of the material will seriously undermine the Presidential challenge, we therefore express reservations on the credibility of the court process in the absence of the crucial material.

1. There will be no trial and therefore no oral evidence will be adduced in this matter. This severely restricts the scope of the matter and any gains that we might have expected in terms of exposing the illegalities and irregularities that marred the credibility and legitimacy of this election.

2. The timelines assigned by the court for specific legal processes are inadequate and favour the opponents. They have had 7 days to study and respond to the petition and yet both are answering affidavits and heads of arguments are expected to be filed in a period of less than 24 hours.

3. Further and in any event apart from the 1st respondent, President Mugabe, the other respondents namely ZEC, its Chairperson and Chief Elections Officer, did not respond by the deadline of Thursday15 August 2013 as appointed by the court. Upon counsel’s enquiry we understand that they have said they have up to 8pm on Friday 16 August 2013. If the hearing is due to commence on Saturday 17 August this means we would have virtually no time to file the answering affidavit to those opposing papers. It means we would have been expected to file heads of argument without having had sight of the other key respondents’ response to our petition.

4. The approach and attitude of the High Court toward our applications for information and material that is necessary for the prosecution of our petition demonstrates the uneven ground upon which we are operating and what we have stated before that the judicial arena is not suitable for the resolution of what is essentially a political dispute. We filed our application last week on Thursday 8 August 2013 but despite the urgency it was only set down for a hearing almost a week later on Wednesday 14 August 2013, after the weekend and 2 days of public holiday.

When the matter was finally heard, after some delay, the presiding Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu reserved judgement indefinitely. The manner in which the case was handled and the indefinite reservation of judgement is not commensurate with the urgency of its circumstances. These are the materials and information we would like to use in support of our petition. We are seriously handicapped by our inability to access these materials and information, some of which by law we should be given by the electoral authorities. Two weeks after the Election Day we still don’t have the electronic copy of the voters’ roll.

5. The concern is that these delays may be contrived to enable the surreptious manipulation of the voting materials and information. We do not have access to these materials and information and we do not know where they are. We might well be given access eventually but to materials and information that would have already been fixed. In the process we would have legitimized the illegitimate.

6. The new constitution guarantees the right to a fair hearing (Section 69). It provides that “in the determination of civil rights and obligations, every person has a right to a fair, speedy and public hearing within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial court, tribunal or other forum established by law”.

7. Further, the conduct of ZEC and its senior officers cited in the petition, is inconsistent with the requirements for administrative justice as provided for in Section 68 of the new constitution. That provision provides that “every person has a right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and substantively and procedurally fair”. On lawfulness, ZEC has failed to provide us with material such as an electronic copy of the voters’ roll 2 weeks after the election. It has not been prompt or efficient in its handling of our concerns as illustrated by its approach towards the voters roll or response to the petition whose deadline they have failed to meet. We have a legitimate expectation that ZEC would discharge its functions fairly and efficiently but this clearly has not been the case.

8. In addition, the management of this case had administrative components which must also be consistent with the right to administrative justice. The periods accorded to the execution of certain functions and processes have to be reasonable and fair. We do not think that the manner in which they have been set is in accordance with the provision of administrative justice.

9. It is clear that without this crucial material being availed, the MDC will be prejudiced in the prosecution of this important case.



  • comment-avatar
    supermondo 9 years ago

    morgan did not throw in the towel,he has made a very just and calculated decision,,this does not mean the mdct agrees Mugabe won anything.zanu was not expecting this move.

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      Pfutseki get real. It adds up to shameful behaviour

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      Nhamodzenyika 9 years ago

      Dear zimbabweans

      I would say hats off to Morgan Tsvangirai, he has played a fantastic role in bringing us close to democracy. It appears like we are fond of criticizing the man. No one person can liberate the nation alone. In doing so much for the masses Morgan also made some mistakes. His biggest mistake was to trust Bob the beast but he must be forgiven. Who would have challenged the beast this long and as far as the inclusive government? MT is a normal human being and father, he is not a murder and crook. Mugabe on the other hand is a crook, a cheat, a coward and eliminator, just thing of Chitepo, Tongogara, Gezi, Chininga to mention a few.

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      But how does this even help

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        Idiot continue leaking the boot of your master.Tsvangirai is more than a man ,viva president Tsvangirai we love u.Do not be let down by these devils the struggle continues our time shall come.

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    george louis 9 years ago

    This is NOT necessarily to MDC & Tsvangirai, just to all compatriots: wake up; without going into exile and enlisting external help to undo the gulag, you are leading people in false hope as long as u get crumbs. I’m a Christian and I’ll never take human life or shed blood. Yet it’s clear that the powers that be have no compaction about shedding blood & your infantile approach is not worth the people’s trust; u r leading nowhere & u know it; u have been shown over & over again; u r satisfied with crumbs as long and u are misleading people. first thing resign, or at the very least go into exile and start meaningful counter measures with willing patriots & external help, not your continued infantile pretentions. U don’t have to respond to paid “intelligence” personnel on forums/fora, unless u may just wanna let compatriots who may not be aware know so. Many military and “intelligence” are compatriots who are ready to defend our country, not for any particular oppressive cabal. The dearth in leadership is astounding; many of the current “leaders” are can’t see they will not be allowed to “win” through the ballot? it’s clear, so why do u continue to pretend? I support neither party, I support all humanity: black, white, yellow, red, etc Louis, PhD.

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      bruce 9 years ago

      As for you its good u support all humanity but for ur own info bob is not part of humanity but is a beast,an impostor and a non human entity,which pretends to be human and its not.you can’t support animal do you?

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    Ateya musungo uchasunga vana vake ( That who has enacted a snare will trap his sons and daughters) Literal translation. It is Mdc T that suggested this con court, It is the mdc that delayed the constitutional making till it was fast tracked few months b4 expiry of parliament and caused the rule by decree nw. It is the Mdc that delayed filing the court challenge till eve of its 7day allowance after announcement of results. So to say ZEC has delayed its a non starter because it had till Friday 8pm to file its opposing papers. What goes around comes around . Lack of focus and poor planning. Then to make matters worse hw can you demand evidence from defendent in order to nail himdo you think you can win why not bring the evidence that you purport to have. Congradulations for admitting the electoral defeat. It pains I know even to anyone especially when you had over confidence that Ahhh ndapinda. So at least its a lesson dont trust a voter anokurasisa. So 2018 is near start now but you can come fot inauguration kana mudhara abva kuMalawi. If you are there he wont scold you anokunyaradzai. Icho Asiijiki.

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      Jakwara 9 years ago

      u can praise sing for him, but he doesnt need u joseph,bob is his own man, diffrence btwn u and mt is: u r less stressed and that doesnt make u any different, ukarwara uchafira paParirenyatwa and if lucky Avenues, but bob will be still going, maybe malaysia or us now that sanctions will be removed. we are all watching a real life movie in 3d. fara hako jose!

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    Concerned Zimbabwean 9 years ago

    Agree that Morgan has not thrown in the towel but has made a clear argument that the case would not be fairly treated, as everyone knows anyway. This is travesty of justice, the election was wholly rigged and the MDC has little other option at this stage. What an appalling state of affairs.

    The MDC has been honourable, courageous and dedicated to the Zimbabwean people in these actions and hopefully in the longer run the truth of this dreadful rigging and the unjust, cruel, tyrannical actions of those involved will be revealed. The best course now is to work to transform the situation in the longer run so that a new democratic Zimbabwe can arise from the ashes of this disaster when the current ruling power is history:

    “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Kudzi 9 years ago

    Well calculated!

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    chimusoro 9 years ago

    What evidence would MDC have used? Courts don’t work on hunches and feelings! Payment to companies specialising in preparing voter’s roles does not constitute evidence or crime. Clearly. the Mdc failed in GNU. Opposition parties need more disciplined and effective leaders.

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    enoch muchengi 9 years ago

    There is no other way to handle the situation in southern Africa except for the citizens of the countries to form an organisation to confront the heads of states of southern Africa. The leaders in these countries are not sincere they have been corrupted by power. Look at effects of the situation in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are fleeing their country heading for south Africa. South African citizens are then going to affected by joblessness among other things. Citizens lets resist this otherwise we will perish being led by the blind, greed and power hungry leaders.

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    Bere Nembada 9 years ago

    At last President Tsvangirai has done the right thing….not to use Mugabe’apparatus to legitimise him….give him the long rope for him to hang….

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      REALIST 9 years ago

      It’s a good move by Tsvangirayi to be seen not to legitimize the elegitimate. I however feel Tsvangirayi when to bed with the devil the day he decided to participate in those elections when everyone could see the playing field was heavily tilted in favour of Mugabe and his cronies. The urgency with which Mugabe wanted elections held, the electoral court judgements and refusal to delay elections all pointed to one thing, leave alone the chaotic voter registration process.

      Against all these odd Tsvangirayi decided to participate in the electoral process. To me this is where MDC-T and the other opposition parties (if they are fit to be called so) made a big blunder and for that they should not cry foul now.

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    chatogo 9 years ago

    Are these not public documents ZEC Is holding on to…. Surely i can smell a rat……

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    Lesley 9 years ago

    Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Zimbabwe; its time to dusty up and move forward. Don’t stay in the past. Let us put our heads together to build Zimbabwe. Adios.

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    Rudadiso 9 years ago

    Nhai Chimusoro, as head of state and government in 33 years what did Mugabe achieve? In matebeleland his enduring legacy is the gukurahundi massacres. In the rest of the country he will be best remembered for murambatsvina, hunger, cholera, greed and an outstanding serial election thief. Oh, not to forget pot holes and the bucket toilet system which is now a prominent feature of urban households.

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    Wake up Zimbabweans!!!!
    There is no doubt that Mr Tsvangirayi and his party are not bound to serve the interests of Zimbabweans as shown by this fiasco.Reasons
    1- The MDC need to revamp its intelligence unit- that is if it exists. A party that intends to be in power should at all costs be aware of all the factors that leads to to election rigging. Why was not MDC aware of the ZANU “tricks”????
    2- Once any of the factors arise- in line with the rule of law, there is need to withdraw from such an election. Why did MDC proceed to contest when among others there was no voters electronic disc??????
    3-Pre election. There was no mention of the topical local currency issue. Did the MDC think of the people who do not have access to foreign currency and how they have been manipulated in their dealings????

    The list is endless.

    So to MDC please let ZANU rule the country as they won irrespective of any allegation of election fraud you are relying on. The bottom line is that there was no need to contest in such an election.So do not waste people’s time.

    May be my comment might not make sense, but at the end of the day I hope MDC have learnt something and there is a hell lot that needs to be done as I pointed the list is endless.

    To other ZImbabweans this is the time to come up with ideas and start something new. The MDC and ZANU have set the ground for you. It is up to you to decide what you want.

    In the meantime and for the sake of future generations let ZANU rule .

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      Collin Mackenzie 9 years ago


      You could not have said it better its people like you that raise hope and speak the truth with an open mind.
      I thank you and should meet please we should form group that gathers positive ideas and lets seek audience with the president and present our ideas an plans lets us help with our knowledge
      Im really interest in getting our cities back to the good old days and better revamp the street lights owners of building that have not been painted or revamp should be fined by the city by laws which are clear and we dictate the lifestyle Zimbabweans want live in if you a pothole that person responsible should be held accountable and a reward syterm put in place for the best run clean city guided by international standards.

      And I recommend we form a group that is none political but one that puts all great ideas in one pot with a plan,role out and costs surely the government will do something I’m very keen in improving the quality of our television sector and I have knowledge and we have for other countries using our expertise to do with DTT coming this why cant we do this in our back yard it is time to transform our broadcast.

      Come on Zimbabweans lets write an open to the president and let him know how willing we are to help improve Zimbabwe and trust me in 9 months Zimbabwe will be a world class country
      The problem is that all the brain trust is in the diaspora they should come back and now is the time

      Zimbabwe has a lot of rural to urban migration and poor them they are content with those two light’s an the potholes, for they do not know anything better

      Zimbabweans be positive Zimbabwe is a stunning country just needs spiritual guidance

      We are the next generation and the next real and true leader of Zimbabwe will come from this generation and will continue the legacy of our elders

      Morgan im sorry Zimbabweans was never destined to lead Zimbabwe it is not even subscribe in the books of the ancestors of Zimbabwe let alone by God all mightily

      Trust me I foresee a leader rising from this group of people on this very site and dont say I did not tell you

      Hence I call on you leave Morgan time gone it is this generation that will lead and is destined to take Zimbabweto rule

      That even the the lord will open the way this individual will be responsible by all an the army and chiefs an the power of spiritual leadership will be passed onto him or her and acknowledged even by Mugabe

      In closing being a leader is spiritual and one has receive the spiritual powers to lead Morgan was offered those powers and refused and chose the power of the women and today his paying the price
      He is now a resident of Zimbabwe and will never be president

      And person who had the spiritual power many even be Zimbabwe and do not say I never told you

      Please keep this post and forward it to our president my wish is to meet

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    Michael 9 years ago

    I wonder what the country would be in the future since after these rigged elections. We will be getting back to the suffering we once had in the past. God have mercy on our country.
    Concerned Citizen

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    munhu 9 years ago

    When a white man segregated a black man it was racism. When a black man segregates any other race it is indigenisation. Shame on us.

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    passto 9 years ago

    Mugabe must step down. We ar exhausted w his election rigging,economic vandalism,human rights manipulation and his so called 51% resources ownership. To hell

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    Murombo 9 years ago

    Well a good move if u mite ask me By MT.
    Quastion is wasn’t it the Mdc that intreoduced the same court they are acusing today? Anway let’s see where ZANU will take us to

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    Morris 9 years ago

    A functional state should have a fair justice system; in its absence people will begin to find alternatives to fight the injustice. The fear should be such an eventuality where ordinary people who thought they can use democratic means to change those in power. Such people will be tempted to use other means. Remember, where there were uprisings they were not led by political leaders but by ordinary people who thought the system was unjust. This is nothing to celebrate but something to fear.

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      chris black 9 years ago

      Wont happen in zimbabwe…the people will rise in south africa after mandela passes..

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    jv chin 9 years ago


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    Guvnor 9 years ago

    A strategic retreat is not a defeat for the MDC, let zanu muppets celebrate a false victory. What remains to be seen is if the “landslide victory” will result in zanu muppets finally taking responsibility and fixing the country they ruined.

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    well calculated

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    “What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.” Proverbs 10:24…. “Righteous” means those who are in right standing with the Lord.”…..

    Come on Zimbabwe, let’s believe what God is saying, take courage, lift up your heads for your redemption is near….. all things are in My timing…. do not grow weary in doing good…. for in due season , I will make all things beautiful. Watch and see what the Lord shall do… he has heard the cries of the oppressed… who is God that He should be mocked? Take courage Zimbabwe, take courage! As you call on My name, watch and see how I will act speedily on your behalf…. I love you my country x x x

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    Johann 9 years ago

    Mr Tsvangirai has personally failed any peace loving man, woman and child of Sub Saharan Africa. Not by withdrawing the court action on the election but by entering the MDC into a one sided partnership with Zpf in 2008. How many of his councillors were dying in prison on trumped up charges, how many times did the unelected president break the rules of the GNU while he said/did nothing. How many times did the unelected president act unilaterally and the leadership of the MDC failed to bring him to account. How many times did Morgan tell the world that the unelected president was really quite a nice chap when the evidence of the past 40 years proves to the contrary. Now every other president in Africa has a blue print of how to destroy the democratic voice by murder and mayhem in the name of liberation. If the MDC is to have any chance then Mr Tsvangirai should make way for a new leader.

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    chris black 9 years ago

    Throw in the towel..as its said in the movie “friday” he got knock the f out…