TYSON BLOW: Constitutional Court dismisses Kasukuwere’s application; ex-minister vows fight still on
By Staff Report
EXILED former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere conceded losing “the battle” on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) dismissed his application for direct access to the top court in his bid to remain on the ballot for the August 2023 crunch election.
He however, vowed that the fight was still on as his legal team indicated they would now go back to the Supreme Court to seek leave to appeal its ruling which barred him from contesting the election.
Kasukuwere had his nomination to run for president as an independent candidate accepted by the nomination court, but his was successfully challenged at the High Court by Zanu PF activist Lovedale Mangwana on the grounds that he was no longer on the voters roll on account of his self-imposed exile.
Mangwana successfully argued that the former Zanu PF commissar had been out of the country without returning for more than 18 months and that his absence was not covered by acceptable reasons such as medical treatment or State service.
The High Court determination was upheld by the Supreme Court, prompting Kasukuwere to approach the Constitutional Court.
However, a ConCourt panel comprising Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, Justice Paddington Garwe and Justice Rita Makarau rejected his request for direct access to the court in order to argue against the Supreme Court ruling.
The ConCourt, ordinarily, first approves applications for hearing to avoid matters which are not constitutional being brought before the bench.
In their ruling Tuesday, the ConCourt judges unanimously dismissed Kasukuwere’s application.
“On a consideration of the submission made before us, it seems the first issue is whether the application is properly before this court,” said Justice Gwaunza in the ruling.
“The applicant moves for the setting aside of the whole judgment of the supreme court. This relief is ordinarily available on appeal.
“Apart from attacking the correctness of the decision of the court, the applicant did not attack the supreme court on how it handled the matter in terms of the rules of court.”
Below are comments made by Kasukuwere and his representatives on social media after the ruling.
We have noted the judgement and interestingly it opens new avenues for us to appeal the SC judgement and luckily we are still within time.
As long as the court rooms are open, it’s game on until the Fat lady sings.
Prof Wel Ncube, Adv Method Ndhlovu, Adv Mutero and team well…
— Saviour Kasukuwere (@Hon_Kasukuwere) August 8, 2023
The fight is still on, we will explore all avenues available in terms of the law to ensure that President @Hon_Kasukuwere remains on that ballot and that Zimbabweans are not frogmarched to a compromised election. https://t.co/E7WKVeaSIp
— JAQUELINE SANDE (@SANDEJAQ) August 8, 2023