Tsvangirai’s 2002 election petition ruling still pending

Source: Tsvangirai’s 2002 election petition ruling still pending – DailyNews Live January 14, 2017

Tendai Kamhungira

HARARE – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai
(pictured) has said he is still waiting for judgment for his 2002
presidential election petition.

In 2002, President Robert Mugabe was pronounced winner of the presidential
election in extremely controversial circumstances.

Tsvangirai challenged the election results in 2002.

However, the Zimbabwean High Court sat on the petition up to the time of
the next elections. To this date, no decision has been passed by the
courts on Tsvangirai’s election challenge of 2002.

Tsvangirai then approached the Supreme Court in 2005, which reserved
judgment on the appeal seeking the country’s highest court to hear and
determine his petition against Mugabe’s 2002 re-election victory.

Tsvangirai had appealed to the Supreme Court alleging that the High Court,
which procedurally should initially hear the petition, has inordinately
delayed in concluding the matter.

The MDC leader, who says Mugabe used violence and outright fraud to cheat
him of victory in the March 2002 presidential ballot, petitioned the High
Court to nullify the poll result days after it was announced.

The petition was briefly heard by High Court Judge Ben Hlatshawayo before
being put on hold, never to be resumed again.

Tsvangirai told a South Africa television station ANN7: “The whole
elections machinery must be changed so that the people’s vote is not

“In our case there is a lot, we don’t have media space for the opposition,
violence is prevalent, just recently brigadier (Agrippa) Mutambara was
almost killed just because he is opposition

“Then you have the question of the mechanism, the technical capacity of
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and you also have the judiciary
playing a role to try to suppress the will of the people.  I still have my
election contest in 2002 still on the bench and has not been dealt
with…it’s almost 17 years after… we have produced a document, we have
presented that document to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, it has basic

The MDC leader and other opposition political party leaders have been
pushing for electoral reforms before the holding of next year’s general
elections, arguing it is the only way for the country to hold a free and
free election.

“First of all, the fact that we are part of Sadc (Southern African
Development Community), there are Sadc rules and we are part of the AU
(African Union) and there are AU rules and every benchmark is being
violated when it comes to the Zimbabwe election,” the former Prime
Minister in the Government of National Unity said.

This also comes after the then Pretoria High Court judge Dikgang Moseneke
and Johannesburg high court judge Sisi Khampepe released a much awaited
2014 report, claiming the 2002 election was not free and fair, citing
several irregularities complained of by the MDC leader.

Further speaking to ANN7, Tsvangirai said the executive has too much
influence on the judiciary; an aspect which he said affects some of the
country’s electoral processes.

“It’s the judiciary. The judiciary is dominated and its controlled by the
executive and we went into a situation in which in 2013 I even went and
said we want the voting material and the courts could not give us the
voting material,…it means the judiciary is under control of the

“As long as Zec is controlling the elections, and Zec is also being
controlled by the executive, it’s a vicious circle and I think that these
are the lessons we learn from every African election,” Tsvangirai said.