High Court Judge Expresses Concerns Over Contradicting Judgements By The Same Court Over The MDC Alliance
10 June 2020
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Own Correspondent

Justice Joseph Martin Mafusire

High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Martin Mafusire has expressed concerns over the numerous contradicting court judgements on the status of the opposition MDC Alliance as a political party.

Justice Mafusire expressed his disappointment on Monday when he passed a ruling that the MDC Alliance was a legally recognised political party.

The judge proposed that all matters involving rival MDC groups be consolidated into a single case to avoid the conflicting judgments.

Justice Mafusire took the view that MDC-A is a political party, which tallies with that taken by Justice Priscilla Manongwe in the dispute over party funds pitting Nelson Chamisa-led MDC-Alliance and the Khupe-led MDC-T.

He cited the fact that Parliament, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Executive had all recognised the party, as such.

Last week Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled in the High Court that while the MDC-A was recognised as a political party, it lacks the legal capacity to sue and being sued, being in effect an electoral coalition.

Justice Mafusire made it clear that he thought the MDC-A had a more independent existence, but noted he was not being asked to rule on the matter.

Justice Mafusire found it undesirable that there should be conflicting decisions by judges from the same court over the same issue.

“It brings uncertainty in the law, causes confusion and adversely affects the integrity of the courts,” he said.

“One way to minimise the incidence of conflicting decisions is, where possible, to have all matters dealing with the same point or similar issues consolidated and heard by one judge. If not, and the conflicting decisions have been made, it is left to the Supreme Court, on appeal, to lay down the law authoritatively.”