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'Kasukuwere appeal defective, doomed'

by Staff reporter
14 Jul 2023 at 07:42hrs | Views
The High Court decision to nullify the nomination of presidential aspirant Mr Saviour Kasukuwere is legally sound and the appeal which the politician seeks to file is destined to fail, a legal expert has opined.

Mr Kasukuwere is seeking to contest in the upcoming August 23 harmonised elections and had his nomination accepted by the Nomination Court, which sat on June 3.

But Justice David Mangota nullified Mr Kasukuwere's nomination, ruling that he has been voluntarily living out of the country for more than 18 months and, therefore, ceased to be a registered voter.

He presented zero evidence that he was undergoing medical treatment in South Africa, and zero evidence, such as a copy of entry and exit stamps on his passport, that he had been periodically returning to Zimbabwe.

Legal expert Advocate Martin Dinha said the ruling by Justice Mangota falls within all four corners of the law.

He said the law requires that Mr Kasukuwere should have been resident in the country for him to participate in the election for the highest office on the land.

This, he said, was informed by the constitutional and democratic tenets that desired to avoid the mischief of having an absentee elected leader of a country or someone on a fishing expedition trying his luck, as Mr Kasukuwere was attempting to do.

"The judiciary has pronounced eloquently and I do not see any success on any appeal in this matter," Adv Dinha.

"Put in simple terms, the court simply interpreted the law correctly. He is not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe and cannot contest for an office that requires you to have been resident in Zimbabwe, full stop."

Adv Dinha described Mr Kasukuwere as one of the G40 cabalists, a political novice, half-baked attempted lawyer and politically bankrupt, corrupt and a pseudo-revolutionary.

"This is good riddance of a political confusionist and clown," he said.

Adv Dinha even opined that the appeal against the High Court judgment by Mr Kasukuwere's legal team was bound to fail as the lower court decision was unassailable and watertight, based on facts and predicated on a clear interpretation of the law.

Appeal courts rarely interfere with factual findings in lower courts, at worst demanding a retrial, and the law in this case is simple and direct, making it highly unlikely that the Supreme Court would come to another interpretation.

Mr Kasukuwere, Adv Dinha said, ran away from Zimbabwe 18 months ago, and had never been resident in Zimbabwe during the pertaining period and was still away today.

"He wants to participate in electoral processes in the comfort of Sandton City in South Africa," he said.

"His naked lies to the court that he went to SA for medical attention are contrary to his public statements that he is in self-imposed exile for safety.

"This case has exposed Mr Saviour Kasukuwere of what he truly is – an opportunist, political novice and trickster."

Legally, while the noting of an appeal in civil matters normally suspends the decision of the court below the law allows the winning party to apply for the court order to be enforceable pending the appeal on many grounds.

In this case, Adv Dinha said Mr Kasukuwere's appeal had no prospects of success.

Elections are due in the near future, so allowing an undeserving presidential hopeful to contest and appear on the ballot paper would be prejudicial to justice, cause irreparable harm to the electorate and would not be in the public interest.

He added that the High Court can, if recourse is sought, rule that notwithstanding the noting of an appeal, the court order barring Mr Kasukuwere from contesting will stand.

Source - The Herald