High Court order Mugabe to call by-elections

“I hereby order President Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions (ZEC) to announce elections dates in Lupane East, Nkayi South and Bulilima East in a period within 14 days,” said Judge Justice Nicholas Ndou in a judgment read on his behalf by Judge Nicholas Mathonsi.

The three constituencies fell vacant after three Members of Parliament were expelled from the House of Assembly in 2009 by the smaller faction of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Deputy Welshman Ncube for aligning themselves to the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. These were: Abdenico Bhebhe of Nkayi South, Njabuliso Mguni of Lupane East and Norman Mpofu of Bulilima East.

The three made a High Court application last year seeking ZEC and Mugabe to call for by-elections in their former constituencies as soon as possible.

The judge said dates for the by-elections in three constituencies must be announced within a period of two weeks.

Speaking to Radio VOP outside the court after the judgment the three former MP lawyer’s Matshobana Ncube of Phulu and Ncube Legal Practitioners said:“We are very happy with the judgement, we now wait for the President and ZEC’s response in the next 14 days.”

Mguni who was present at the court was crying with joy and told journalists that this was a victory for Zimbabwe and his new party MDC-T.

“I am very happy about this, final democracy will prevail this victory not only for us but for all Zimbabweans,” said Muguni.

No by-elections have held since the unity government was installed in February 2009 despite vacancies created by death and party infighting. There are 18 vacant seats in Parliament at present.