Zimbabwe's top judges must be fair

Zimbabwe's top judges must be fair.
Zimbabwe's top judges must be fair.
Image: STOCK IMAGE

Zimbabwean Constitutional Court judges have a huge task ahead of them.

They have to resolve last month's general election results which gave the Zanu-PF a disputed victory which the MDC Alliance is now challenging.

Every Zimbabwean who wants to see the governance of Zanu-PF come to an end, has every reason to be concerned, considering there had been no single successful election petition since 2000 that favoured the MDC.

The MDC supporters are still waiting for the reasoning behind the judges' decision against the MDC in 2002 when they controversially declared the election results as fair.

The judges will have to ensure they hand down a fair judgment as the world watches. They need to put aside their personal interests and loyalty to the governing party and deal decisively with the facts and evidence brought before them.

These judges have to draw a lesson from the SA Constitutional Court judges who have managed to rise above the governing party's politics, and sought to give fair judgments motivated not by anything else but by the rule of law.

These judges have made findings against former president Jacob Zuma at the time he was in power. They handed down judgments without fear, favour or prejudice.

We therefore call on the Zimbabwean judges who are seen to be loyal to the Zanu-PF, not to allow their allegiance to cloud how they handle this matter. Judges are bound by ethics and the constitution, and so let us see them exercise their judgment in keeping with legal principles.

We hope both the leaders of Zanu-PF and the MDC Alliance will leave the court satisfied with the judgment that is expected to be pronounced within two weeks. The MDC Alliance should also be prepared to accept the outcome if it favours the ruling party. It should be the same with president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The people of Zimbabwe have suffered for a long time under Robert Mugabe. His removal from office in November, after he ruled the country with an iron fist for 37 years, gave Zimbabweans a feeling of hope.

The time is opportune for Zimbabwean leaders to work together to rebuild Zimbabwe. We hope they will find common ground and help Zimbabwe to prosper.

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