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Zimbabwe - Enter Judicial Violence

03 Sep 2013 at 05:22hrs | Views
When Zanu-PF took over the reins of power, from the Rhodesia Front in 1980, they started a systematic violent use of the arms of state. When it began no one was paying attention. No one was paying attention because of the euphoria of independence. And it was just after the war of liberation and the memories of the war were still fresh and dripping blood. The war mode was still active.

From 1980 they violently used the executive arm of the state to cow Zimbabwe into submission. This saw over twenty thousand (20 000) people being annihilated with the whole world watching. Matebeleland and Midlands became deathfields. And the octogenarian dictator calls it a Moment of madness. It was a period of executive violence- executive murder. That was the character of the first ten years of our independence. Or their independence. They had freedom to do what they wanted. They had freedom to imprison and murder.

At the expiry of Prime Ministership in 1987 they immediately changed gear. Prominently came the period of parliamentary violence. This was orchestrated through the violent and merciless rape of the then Lancaster House transitional constitution. They mutilated it so blatantly that it was left wimpering under the burden of draconian legislation intended to keep Zanu-PF heavily anchored in the trenches of power. All amendments made had the intent to make sure no one but Zanu-PF accesses the reins of power. This they did by making sure the Legislature was singularly Zanu-PF. This legislature was just a rubber stamp group of mostly intellectual zombies or rag dolls waiting for the one in control of the moves. This shameful legislature enacted laws that even gave the President full legislative and quasi-judicial powers. He made laws and had power to decide the fate of prisoners be they political or outright criminals. This same Zanu-PF legislature enacted laws that made Robert Mugabe a demi god. Anything negative about him attracts a punitive prison term and merciless vilification especially from Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation a.k.a ZanuPf Broadcasting Confusion.

With the demise of the Soviet Union and Eastern Block heralding the end of the so called Cold War, the whirlwind of change swept across the world. The chameleon called Zanu-PF changed colour. We had entered the period of human rights and the rule of law. They paid attention more to the rule of law. They made laws and these laws violently impinged on people's rights. Draconian laws were born. Behind these laws Zanu-PF hid its heinous acts of thuggery, murder and violence. And on the face of it all Robbie preached democracy, democracy and more democracy. They conscientiously or should I say judiciously followed the rule of their laws. And minus justice. Minus respect for the rights of the citizenry. The executive controlled the legislature. The laws passed were made by the same executive that was going to implement them.

While this was going on there was a systematic weeding out of those members of the judiciary perceived to be not I sync with the executive. There was massive criticism of both the legislature and the executive. This was attracting international attention. This was the period that saw the rise and fall of political parties other than Zanu-PF. There came ZUM, ZUD, Forum etc. Their major hurdle was the law. There was no room for legal political space. As we approached the end of the millennium pressure was mounting. In desperation Zanu-PF even showed open disregard to the laws that it passed in a parliament made up of 100% Zanu-PF members.

1999 saw the birth of the most potent political force other than Zanu-PF since 1980. In response Zanu-PF used violence. They used the law to suppress it but it was born nevertheless. The violent suppression led to international outcry. Pressure on Zanu-PF mounted. The 2000 elections was a microcosm of the reality dawning on Zanu-PF. It lost outright monopoly of the political space. It lost outright monopoly of the legislative space. They were no longer alone in parliament. They were no longer alone politically at the exposure of Zimbabweans.

From 2000 a new soldier began to fight for Zanu-PF in its political war with other political parties. Partisan judges and magistrates were appointed and non partisan judges were forced to resign or retire. The courts became war zones and judges and magistrates became both peacemakers and Zanu-PF's foot soldiers. Cases where opposition party members are the accused things are expeditiously done to facilitate especially punishments through serving time or fines. In most cases the merits of a case and its facts are deliberately twisted to suit the Zanu-PF line. Where Zanu-PF is the accused the cases drag on for ages or judgment is reserved ad infinitum. Today we are in 2013 in 2002 Morgan Tsvangirai filed a court case querrying the results of the Presidential election that year. To date Justice Hlatshwayo, who now sits on the bench of the Constitutional Court, is still to pass judgment. The same Ben Hlatshwayo was unproceduraly appointed by Robert Mugabe on to the ConCourt Bench. This is the same man forming part of the team to make rulings on constitutional issues.

Since 2000 the Bench has been making politically motivated decisions benefiting Zanu-PF. It has always violently reacted to anything that tends to oppose the Zanu-PF dominated status quo.
The violence of the judiciary has manifested itself evidently in recent times. The GPA was very clear on what needed to be done. Zanu-PF grossly violated the GPA through partisan state institutions such as the military, police and the courts. When these issues were brought to court the courts were conspicuous by their silence and reserved judgments. The executive decides who sits on the bench and who doesn't. The politics of patronage has permeated all strata of Zimbabwean society with non not kow towing Zanu-PF policies. To date 23 Judges have been appointed to the bench unprocedurally-illegally-by Zanu-PF's Robert Goon.

When Zanu-PF wanted to grossly violate the GPA and call for elections without reforms called for by the GPA, they turned to the courts. Enter Jealousy Mawarire and his CIO handled NGO Center for Democracy something. He demanded, of course with Mugabe's blessings, that the President declare the date of elections. In total disregard to the rights of other Zimbabweans the Bench swiftly granted him the order. They even helped him properly modify his argument to get a favourable ruling. When Tsvangirai attempts, legally, to stop this madness, he is dismissed by the bench. Who mans the bench? Zanu-PF sympathisers in the mould of Chidyausiku,Chiweshe and their other goons appointed on partisan lines.

Just before the SADC summit in Mozambique Robert Mugabe declared 31 July 2013 election day. This was directly in violation of the GPA.When SADC saw the chicanery they tried to politely advise the old man. Through Chidyausiku Zanu-PF threw puke in the face of SADC. SADC asked them to approach the court because they knew it was legally possible to reverse the ruling and that was the best for the people of Zimbabwe. Chidyausiku and his team chose to punish the whole of Zimbabwe because of one Zanu-PF guided individual in the name of Jelousy Mawarire. The same bench refused to intertain extension of voter registration for the Zimbabwean eligible voters. Yes other citizens including a human rights lawyer and defender Nixon Nyikadzino had their case dismissed. In whose interest was the Concourt acting- well big brother Zanu-PF. The vote was already rigged- or nikuvued. There, it was imperative that no time be wasted. Of course it would have come out that hundreds of thousands of voters were disenfranchised by being thrown far from their wards and constituencies. That a million names were duplicated on the voters roll and registered in different wards. That names in graveyards had acquired registration certificates and registered to vote in selected wards and constituencies. That thousands of people were not registered. That thousands of people in a specific age group were deliberately not registered. That the Registrar (Toba Mudede) had taken over the job of an independent commission called ZEC in running the registration of voters. That thousands of Mozambican citizens were registered to vote in Zimbabwe (Check the record in border constituencies). That delimitation had taken place under the supervision of Zanu-PF. That an invisible hand that did not belong to ZEC was in charge of the process. In one swop the bench blocked this scrutiny and the police was on stand by to pounce on anyone who went against it.

The issue of special ballots was interesting. After the chaotic two days of special voting ZEC approached the Concourt asking for special voters who failed to vote during these two days to be allowed to vote when everyone else was voting on the 31st of July 2013. It is alleged that bellow 30000 out of about 80 000 special voters actually cast their votes. Zanu-PF advocated for the group to be allowed to vote in the general elections.The Concourt granted the permission. Now millions of potential voter failed to register because instead of the constitutional 30 days of registration Zimbabweans were given three days only. It is estimated over three million people eligible to vote failed to register to vote. This unequal treatment heralds the epitome of psychological judicial violence.

When Research and Advocacy Unit unravelled the discrepancy between the census and the voters roll they wanted the whole world to know. Where does Toba go? And who comes to his rescue? The bench. The bench actually technically said it is not just to reveal that rigging was taking place. RAU without even being given the opportunity to argue their case was barred from publishing anything. My God this is massive. This is judicial violence at its best and treason at its worst.

On the eve of the election enter poor Komichi. "Eureka! Eureka!" What did poor Komichi find out? Special ballots in the dustbin. Where? ZEC command centre. When he alerts ZEC, the commission turns against him and cause his arrest. Crime? That poor Komichi stole the ballots. Really! My foot! Instead of investigating how it happened they go on to find fault with who found out. Interesting. The bench to send a clear message to everyone they rule that poor Komichi be remanded in custody. They don't order an investigation into how the ballots left the command room into the bin. This is the actual criminal offence. Who was sleeping on duty?

After the mother of all electoral frauds is concluded Morgan Tsvangirai asks ZEC to give him the official figures of the election. He is not given. He goes to the Electoral court and this justice ane mbiri wekwaBhunu refuses to grant him the order for ZEC to hand over the information. He even goes on to order the arrest of Tsvangirai's lawyers for even daring to bring the case before the court. Wow!! Talk of judicial violence and impunity. Where does the judiciary get the audacity to declare the bench beyond reproach? If the executive can be criticised, if the legislature can be criticised whats sacred about the judiciary,the third arm of government. This was a clear sign of judicial violence and intimidation.

In the main case before the Concourt what happens? Tsvangirai is denied access to official evidence to prove his case and decides to withdraw. Warning signals began to blink. What do they do they actually force him to appear before the court. They even go on to intimidate the lawyers asking them whether they identified themselves with their client's affidavit. God!!! Dear learned judges who was on trial here? It was clear that if any of the lawyers had said yes that would have been the end of their career and possibly with a jail term as well. Judicial violence and intimidation.

The Bench went on to declare the elections "free, fair and credible". How they arrived at this…reasons would follow? The information that justice Bhunu denied Tsvangirai access to is the information that could have proved, before Chidyausiku and team, whether the elections were free, fair and credible. The bench in its wisdom and fairness concluded that this was so without having access to the relevant material information in the custody of ZEC.

While it has been evident that Zanu-PF has, since independence concurrently used arms of state to institute violence on the citizenry, it has been clear that over the past three decades each of the arms of state has played a prominent role over a phase. During this phase, which I believe is the last, the judiciary has played a leading role in violating the rights of the individual in Zimbabwe. Judicial violence. Judicial violence, I say it again JUDICIAL violence. Where should people turn to for justice. They are not even ashamed to wine and dine together in full glare of the public. Sometimes the executive even pronounces verdicts, of pending cases, in advance directly or indirectly through the state media. Now that we see a rigged dominance of the legislature we are going to see a legislature judiciary axis. A judiciary authenticated rigging.

I may also be arrested for having written this. After all they have the capability and impunity to violate the privacy of my communication. Actually the new constitution is very clear but don't be surprised when they come for me. Zanu-PF has no respect for the law- just law.

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Trademark Dindingwe can be contacted trademark.dindingwe@gmail.com


Source - Trademark Dindingwe
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