Mugabe’s remarks on judiciary offside

As a patriotic citizen, I accept that the President of a country is the first citizen, but that does not make him the only and last citizen.

Source: Mugabe’s remarks on judiciary offside – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 7, 2016

Nelson Chamisa

Yes, the President is the citizen of citizens, but all other citizens also have their rights equal under the law being recognised and further protected by the collective law.

In this land between Zambezi and Limpopo, the President is the commander in chief in upholding the laws of the land and ought not be a commander-in chief in undermining and mutilating the laws of the land.

In jurisdictions where rule of law is common practice, it is axiomatic that politicians must not the judge the judges and court judgments.

The rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and separation of powers constitute the very heart of a robust and effectual judicial system.

Sadly, politicians are targeting their poisonous arrows at that very sacrosanct heart.

It is clear that the Constitution carries the important signature of the first citizen. The President has to read, lead and live the Constitution he signed.

All law is meaningful only in circumstances where there is rule of law. This does not profit just a party either Zanu PF or MDC.

Rule of law is our collective security. Even investment will shy away where there is no rule of and protection by law. .

It is difficult to fathom or even imagine how a President could threaten or condemn the court. It is utter bullying and outright contempt of the judiciary.

One key question that begs an immediate answer is: Is Zimbabwe under martial law?

The President or any other person has no right to suspend the Constitution and rights particularly in Chapter 4 on the Bill of Rights
The President is a creature and indeed a loyal slave of the Constitution, and, therefore, under, and not above or outside remit of the Constitution.

Perhaps politicians think they are themselves the Constitution.No, they are not.

For all intents and purposes, in terms of section 90(1) of the national Constitution, the President has to uphold, defend, obey and respect the Constitution and must ensure that all other laws are faithfully observed.

In similar spirit, section 90(2)(a) places the duty to ensure protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms and the rule of law upon the President of the Republic.

Interpretation of the law must be confined to the courts of law, not the courts of politics or public rallies.

It is reckless and impolitic for the politicians to invite or expect a discourse that is ipso facto (by that very fact or act) a monologue because judges cannot respond.

On the back of their vocation and tenets of the profession, the judges cannot respond to the political posturing and pontificating by politicians, but this rhetoric obstructs their discretion and conscience.

As a legal practitioner with the superior courts, I am better placed to opine that judges only respond to the quality of cases and arguments before them.

The President should first have had regard to the submissions made on behalf of the police by their attorneys before forming a misbegotten view.

In those submissions, nothing was said about the likely dangers to radio stations broadcasting live from the agricultural showgrounds as we are now being made to believe.

To then simply expect the court, out of no basis, to pay regard what is not before it is brazenly mischievous.

We have a duty to fix our broken politics. We must chlorinate our society of the sick governance culture of vituperative, corrosive and acerbic politics.

A new Zimbabwe is our collective duty and individual assignment as citizens. The future has come!

Nelson Chamisa is an MDC-T legislator for Kuwadzana East and writes in his personal capacity


  • comment-avatar
    Top Zim 6 years ago

    Well said. Thanks Nelly.. Anenzeve dzekunzwa…

  • comment-avatar
    Samanyika 6 years ago

    Straight to the point for Mugabe is no different to other citisens!