Lawson Mabhena, Zimpapers Elections Desk
It is often said that legal arguments standing on nothing, not even the Constitution, are quick to fall to the ground – they are denser than air.
Lawyers, in particular, love to make sound arguments. They do not like to be embarrassed in court, in whichever capacity – prosecution, defence or judge.
When Saint Thomas More, a respected English judge in the 16th Century, was being charged for high treason for refusing to publicly endorse King Henry VIII as the head of the Roman Catholic Church of England, he embarrassed the prosecution and the judges who still delivered his predetermined death sentence.
He said: “Some men think the earth is round, others think it flat. It is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King’s command make it round? And if it is round, will the King’s command flatten it?”
Following peaceful harmonised elections in Zimbabwe on August 23 and 24, opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has refused to accept the results and is hell-bent on convincing the international community, particularly SADC, to force Zimbabwe into fresh elections supervised by the regional bloc and the African Union (AU).
This is despite the fact that no evidence of rigging in favour of the ruling Zanu-PF or any other malpractice by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has been brought forward. Further, President Mnangagwa was declared winner and Heads of State from many countries in Africa and beyond attended in person or through representation Monday’s inauguration ceremony.
The CCC demands are also despite the fact that there is no precedence in Africa or the rest of the world where a sovereign country has been forced to re-run its elections purely at the request of a losing candidate who cannot prove rigging or any other claims.
In fact, by trying to convince the United Nations, AU and SADC to reject the outcome of Zimbabwe’s elections and demand a re-run, the CCC is pleading with the world to accept that the earth is flat when there is empirical evidence available to all sense-seeing humans of a globe.
What is, however, worth noting is that when CCC took this bizarre stance, the spokesperson of the party was quickly changed from a respected advocate of the law to a much-feared former leader of a violent pressure group.
A “change champion” in the CCC and former spokesperson, Mr Luke Tamborinyoka, indirectly made sense of this leadership change yesterday in an article published by NewsDay and aptly titled: “The law cannot resolve Zim’s political question.”
Here we were, all level-headed Zimbabweans, waiting for a court challenge right up to inauguration day or evidence in the form of V11 returns proving that ZEC got its numbers wrong, or at least an effort in that regard, yet that was never the intension. It was never part of the opposition’s plans to prove electoral fraud of any form in the first place.
Such evidence does not even exist, which is why the party is not seeking a legal solution to what they have termed “the biggest electoral heist of our time”.
Wrote Mr Tamborinyoka in part: “As debate raged over the weekend on whether the Citizens Coalition for Change should have gone to court in the matter of the sham election, l was and still remain unconvinced on what would have been achieved by going to the captured courts to seek redress. To assume that Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s bench would have prudently and judiciously dealt with the biggest electoral heist of our time is akin to expecting a mosquito to cure malaria.”
In a way, this article makes sense of why Advocate Fadzai Mahere, who had been serving as spokesperson since 2022, was removed to make way for Mr Promise Mkwananzi, a former leader of Tajamuka, an outfit well-known for violent protests and stay-aways.
Clearly, the CCC no longer cares about the Constitution. This is why Mr Mkwananzi was quick to call for nationwide protests to force a “fresh, free and fair election underwritten by SADC and AU as the only route towards political stabilisation”.
To the opposition, political stabilisation can only be born out of their victory in elections. They will destabilise the country until they win elections. How generous; all this trouble to benefit ordinary Zimbabweans and not themselves.
The CCC’s serious claims that ZEC broke the law must be tested in court if the party is ever to be taken seriously.
This must not be difficult as the party is led by lawyers.
SADC and the AU must challenge Advocate Nelson Chamisa and his CCC to prove their electoral heist claims. The bodies must also take the opposition to task for not pursuing available legal recourse.
The harmonised elections were held under the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The biggest test on whether the outcome was free or fair must be done under the same Constitution.
What type of a democratic party does not believe in constitutionalism? They only believe in themselves because they are above the law.
Tajamuka tactics are well-documented in Zimbabwe. Mr Chamisa, must never be allowed to use such. he must never use political instability to stifle economic development. That is not the Zimbabwe we all want. It is not the SADC or AU we all want.