THE opposition People’s Democratic Party has condemned President Robert Mugabe for setting a precedent that further derogates Zimbabwe’s status as a constitutional democracy.
The Tendai Biti-led party said Mugabe’s resentment of the judgement by High Court Judge Priscilla Chigumba which protected citizens’ political rights the during mass protects of last year, revitalized fear in the profession.
According to the opposition party, the fear manifested itself when five Supreme Court judges recused themselves from the contentious challenge on the appointment of the country’s new Chief Justice set to take-over from Godfrey Chidyausiku who retires this month.
“President Mugabe set a bad precedent when he recklessly attacked a serving judge in violation of Section 164 of the supreme law which specifies that the courts are independent and subject only to the constitution and the law which must be applied without fear or favour,” the party said on Monday.
“Section 44 obligates everyone, including the state, to respect and promote the rights of the Zimbabwean people as defined in the Bill of rights, the Judge was simply observing the same, instead of being cursed she was supposed to be applauded.
“At the present moment public expectation is not met when all the serving judges are no longer able to impartially and fearlessly discharge their constitutional duties up to a level where a retired judge has to be roped in just to make a quorum.”
After, the court ruled against the executive, cabinet has since proposed amendments to the 2013 constitution to allow Mugabe, instead of the Judiciary Services Commission through publicly held interviews, to appoint the Chief Justice
PDP said Mugabe’s regime must separate constitutionalism from party political bickering and infighting.
“Such a top post is at the centre of protecting the supreme law of the land therefore appointment must be on merit.
“It is an indictment on the part of the Zanu PF leadership whose unrepentant conflation of the state with their evil party continue endanger the existence of a constitutional democracy.”