“The last time the law spoke, the president was the ultimate authority in the deployment of the army. His signature must accompany military deployments, so to speak. According to Justice Mangota, Mnangagwa did not deploy the soldiers. Since Chiwenga did and Mnangagwa didn’t, the former has a case to answer. It means he violated the constitution and broke subsidiary laws.”
Another excellent article, thank you Tawanda.
If Justice Mangota has already established who was responsible for deploying the soldiers and giving out the order of “shoot to kill” then one has to ask why bother with the Commission of Inquiry?
If the truth be told, many people had already come to the same conclusion that VP Chiwenga had deployed the soldiers without consulting Mnangagwa. This was not the first time the VP had taken a very important decision without consulting the President - we all remember his summarily dismissal of nurses because they had dared to go on strive earlier this year.
So President Mnangagwa has appointed a Commission of Inquiry to run for months on end at great national expense to establish something that a normal Court was able to establish is a few weeks. What a waste!
Since the Commission of Inquiry had already been establish the Commission should have been given the power to rule on the matter before any other body.
Even is President Mnangagwa was the one who had issued the order to shoot, he still has authority and power to appoint a commission of inquiry. Justice Mangota should have confined himself to address the question of whether or not it is reasonable to assume the Commission would still be sufficiently independent to establish the truth without overreaching and telling the Commission what that truth is!
It is not as if Zimbabwe’s Courts are themselves the bastions of justice one would expect in a healthy and functional democracy given they have played their part in helping Zanu PF tighten its dictatorial grip on the nation. In a recent Con-Court challenge of the election result the Judges acknowledge there were serious electoral flaws in the process from the evidence submitted before the Court. And yet the Judges ignored all this evidence on the shaky grounds that it was not collaborated by the “primary source evidence” in sealed ballot boxes.
The Judges conveniently ignored the plaintiff’s assertion that they had requested the sealed boxes to be opened but the request was denied. The Judges could have ordered the sealed boxes to be opened but chose not to exercise their power and authority.
And so the Judges’ decision to declare Mnangagwa the winner of the elections was based on the assumption that the evidence in the sealed boxes bespoke of a free, fair and credible election contrary to the evidence they have seen but chose to ignore.
Every respectable Election Observer team’s report has confirmed the evidence the Judges ignore and condemned the elections as flawed and illegal!
By Jeff Chakanyuka