‘Very disappointing judgement’ – says Madhuku after ConCourt trashes ZEC delimitation report challenge

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By Staff Reporter

THE Constitutional Court has dismissed an application by Zanu PF activist, Tonderai Chidawa who was seeking to have the delimitation report by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission  (ZEC) redone arguing it is unconstitutional.

A full Con Court bench chaired by Chief Justice Luke Malaba dismissed his application following full arguments by Chidawa and Parliament which was being sued.

Full reasons for the judgement will be made later.

Chidawa dragged the legislature to court for accepting what he said was a flawed ZEC Preliminary Delimitation Report.

The activist , who is being represented by Prof Lovemore Madhuku, wanted the delimitation exercise investigated and redone.

He argued that the report was signed by two commissioners out of nine, questioning whether it was a result of ZEC as a body corporate or just its two members.

Chidawa’s application was backed by affidavits from the two commissioners whose signatures are not appearing on the report – Cathrine Mpofu and Shepherd Manhivi.

“I believe that Parliament has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation,” argued Chidawa.

“This failure has arisen in respect of the processes that have unfolded following the tabling in Parliament by the President of a preliminary delimitation report in terms of section 161(7) of the Constitution.

“The preliminary delimitation report tabled before Parliament was not signed by any of the Commissioners, a fact so glaring that Parliament ought to have sprung into action when I raised the issue, given that previous such reports were signed by all commissioners.”

His application at the apex court follows a January 7 letter, which he wrote to the Speaker of Parliament requesting that the Delimitation exercise be redone.

In delivering the judgment, Malaba said “no cause of action had been pleaded against the respondent.”

“It is ordered that this application be and is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.”

Madhuku said his client was not happy with the outcome.

“It’s a very disappointing judgement. It is disappointing in the sense that the court refused to have a look at section 119 and obligations of parliament.

“I suspect that the court does not want to interpret section 119  to go as far as we had put it,” he said.