Lawyer Wins Bid To Join Mwonzora Delimitation Challenge
5 May 2023
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Jeremiah Bamu, a legal practitioner has filed an application with the Constitutional Court to oppose Douglas Mwonzora’s legal challenge against ZEC’s 2023 delimitation report.

Mwonzora seeks to nullify the report and postpone the general election, scheduled for August, by six months to give the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) time to redo the delimitation exercise and provide a new report.

Bamu’s application to become Amicus Curiae is significant because it opposes Mwonzora’s request that, if the delimitation report is nullified, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election proclamation should be postponed until ZEC has redone the delimitation exercise and submitted a new report. In other words, Bamu’s application is against delaying the general election.

The main case will be heard by the full bench of the ConCourt next week on 8 May. Douglas Mwonzora and his supporters are optimistic that the ZEC delimitation report will be nullified since the formula used by the Commission is unconstitutional.

However, Jonathan Moyo, a former Information minister and political professor, argues that there are indications that the case may not be decided on its merits, but rather on technicalities.

Moyo who is also a legal expert says Mwonzora may face preliminary obstacles, such as a lack of capacity (locus standi) to sue ZEC as a presidential candidate.

Moyo explained that Mwonzora is a presidential candidate, therefore, is unaffected by the new electoral boundaries in the ZEC delimitation report since voters can vote for him no matter the ward or constituency they are voting from.

The fact that ZanuPF has virtually completed its primary elections and that CCC is about to complete its stalled candidate selection process, both based on new electoral boundaries, makes it unlikely that the ZEC delimitation report will be set aside. More likely, praxis will prevail over theory to avoid chaos.

But in the event that the delimitation report is set aside, it is difficult to see why and how the Court would grant Mwonzora’s prayer that the election proclamation should only be made after ZEC has redone the delimitation report.

This expectation might explain why through its proxy, CCC has opportunistically made a eleventh hour application to basically argue against postponement of the election. It’s a winning argument, almost guaranteed!

The CCC party’s spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, has compared elections to Christmas and believes they should take place regularly, regardless of the situation.

The party alleges that Mwonzora’s challenge of the delimitation report was instructed by the ruling ZANU PF party, which is afraid of holding elections this year.

The upcoming elections are set to take place sometime between July 26 and August 26.

Political analysts have urged the implementation of political reforms to ensure fair competition.