Zimbabwean Elections: Kasukuwere Faces Constitutional Hurdle yet Remains Defiant in Pursuit

Former Mugabe Minister Exiled, Shockingly Announces Mnangagwa Presidential Challenge, Stirring Curiosity
  • Zimbabwe’s constitutional court rejects Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal as a presidential candidate.
  • Kasukuwere’s legal team plans to challenge the decision at the High Court.
  • A Zanu-PF activist seeks to disqualify Kasukuwere on the basis of his absence from the country for 18 consecutive months.

The constitutional court, on Tuesday, declined to hear Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal to challenge his exclusion from the upcoming Zimbabwean general elections, which are of great importance. Kasukuwere had exhausted most of his legal avenues, leaving the constitutional court as his final recourse for any matters relating to the country’s constitution.

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The suit filed by Zanu-PF activist Lovedale Mangwana, seeking to disqualify Kasukuwere from the presidential race, argued that he had been away from the country for more than 18 continuous months. Deputy chief justice Elizabeth Gwaunza delivered the judgment, dismissing Kasukuwere’s case.

“The first issue to consider is whether the application is properly before this court,” stated Gwaunza. “The applicant moves to set aside the whole judgment of the supreme court, which is ordinarily available on appeal. Apart from challenging the correctness of the court’s decision, the applicant did not question the supreme court’s handling of the matter in terms of the rules of court.”

The court finds that the application, being a disguised appeal, is not properly before the court. The application is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.

Kasukuwere’s lawyers had initially argued that his name had not been removed from the voters’ roll in accordance with the Electoral Act’s sections 27 and 28, thus asserting that he was still a registered voter. They also pointed out that Mangwana did not provide any evidence to prove that Kasukuwere had been absent from the country for 18 months.

Kasukuwere, also known as “Tyson” due to his combative politics, had vowed to take on President Emmerson Mnangagwa “pound for pound.” In response to the constitutional court’s decision, Kasukuwere stated, “It opens up new avenues for us to appeal the Supreme Court judgment.” He added, “As long as the courtrooms are open, it’s game on until the fat lady sings.”

According to his lawyer, Jaqueline Sande, they will continue to fight to get Kasukuwere on the ballot paper, ensuring that Zimbabweans are not forced into a compromised election. As Gwaunza recognized that Kasukuwere’s approach at the constitutional court was “a disguised appeal,” Sande stated that they would take it back to the supreme court.

Kasukuwere announced his intention to run for the presidency in July. He positioned himself as a third option in a race primarily seen as a competition between Mnangagwa and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa.

In parliament, Kasukuwere relied on independent candidates for support. While Chamisa expressed no concern about Kasukuwere’s candidacy in his statements to journalists, within Zanu-PF, he was seen as a potential threat. Kasukuwere’s decision to run for the top job appealed to Zanu-PF members who were unhappy with Mnangagwa, especially those who were pro-Robert Mugabe before the November 2017 coup.

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