By Professor Matodzi
Harare, August 20, 2013 – A Zimbabwean Judge on Tuesday launched a contemptuous attack on MDC-T leader and outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai describing him as someone of an “unbalanced” mindset and urged the country’s prosecuting authorities to punish his lawyers, who filed two urgent applications demanding an audit of the country’s disputed election result.
In a five-page judgment delivered Tuesday, in which he dismissed Tsvangirai’s request to be furnished with some election and voting materials, High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu lashed out at Tsvangirai and his lawyers for filing an application containing a “despicable” dossier which the MDC-T leader based his electoral challenge on.
Bhunu said Tsvangirai had launched a scathing attack on the judiciary in his MDC-T party dossier stating that it is not independent from the executive and politically from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party. The MDC-T leader said Mugabe had since 2009 appointed and elevated 23 judges to the High Court, Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court without consulting him as Prime Minister in contravention of some provisions of the Global Political Agreement and the Constitution.
This Bhunu said was an insult to and contemptuous of the High Court.
“It is ironic that having made those scathing disparaging remarks of and concerning the entire judiciary of this country, the applicant and his lawyers are now seeking justice before the same judiciary in which they have no confidence. His (Tsvangirai) conduct in this regard is symptomatic of an unbalanced convoluted mind set unbefitting a man of his stature and station in life,” reads part of Justice Bhunu’s judgment.
The Judge said while Tsvangirai’s “reprehensible” conduct may be attributable to ignorance of law, the same cannot be said of his lawyers who he claimed acted unethically after they “sought to rely on the dossier criticising the judiciary.
“Their (lawyers) conduct betrays a determined frame of mind to abuse and hold this court in contempt with scant regard to its integrity. Previous warnings appear to have fallen on deaf ears. That type of conduct cannot be tolerated by these courts. Time has now come to reign in errant legal practitioners bent on bringing this court’s integrity into disrepute,” Bhunu said in his judgment wherein he advised the Registrar of the High Court to serve a copy on Attorney General Johannes Tomana “for appropriate action according to the law”.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on Tuesday anointed Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe after declaring him the winner of last month’s hotly disputed presidential election and declared the contentious harmonised elections as “free, fair and credible”.
“Consequently the result of that election is a true reflection of the free will of the people of Zimbabwe who voted,” reads part of an order read out by Chidyausiku after he insisted on determining Tsvangirai’s withdrawn election petition.
According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Mugabe won the presidential election by bagging 61 percent of the vote while Tsvangirai got 33 percent. The former trade union leader has vowed to pursue democratic means to fight Mugabe’s claim to victory in last month’s election.