Harare, February 06, 2016 – President Robert Mugabe has been sued for continued cling to power when it was apparent old age and poor health were beginning to affect his mental and physical capabilities to continue executing his duties as national leader.
Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, a qualified lawyer currently studying International Human Rights Law at Oxford University in London, on Friday filed a High Court challenge in attempts to have the veteran leader surrender his job.
Chinyoka, born October 1972, cited Mugabe as first respondent, the justice minister as second respondent, the national assembly Speaker (third), the Senate president (fourth) and Mugabe in his official capacity as the leader of the Zimbabwean government as fifth respondent
The justice ministry and Parliament are being sued for failing to react when the head of state was showing signs of advanced age, poor health and amnesia, among others.
In his court challenge, Chinyoka lists a number of occasions in which the Zimbabwean leader, who turns 92 in two weeks time, has accidentally fallen, stumbled, read the wrong speech or dozing off during international meetings while also showing signs of sickness.
“Media reports have confirmed that First Respondent is a frequent patient at GLENEAGLES Hospital in Singapore…” Chinyoka said in his affidavit.
“On 19 May 2014, First Respondent was filmed by private media going into the hospital.
“Media reports since at least 2011 have linked him with this hospital, with speculation that he is undergoing cancer treatment. I believe that whatever it is that requires First Respondent to visit this clinic cannot be social but medical: as anything else would not require the security and veil of secrecy that saw his wife push away a reporter as evidenced in the attached article.
“I believe that it is in the public interest that the reason for First Respondent’s frequent visits to an exclusive and by all accounts very expensive clinic be made known to the people over whom he holds executive power.”
Chinyoka goes on to cite the December 2014 incident in which President Mugabe, while addressing a party congress, had a slip of the tongue admitting he had lost the disputed Presidential election in 2008 to bitter opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T who, according to Mugabe, garnered, 73% of the national vote.
Mugabe had to immediately revise his statement after party delegates corrected him.
“…It is a well-known scientific fact that suggestibility is significantly related to low intelligence, poor memory recall, neuroticism and social desirability,” Chinyoka says.
“I believe that poor memory recall and neuroticism would engage section 97 of the Constitution and render First Respondent incompetent to be President.”
Chinyoka also states that “anyone that cannot stay awake even in the full view of the media is not likely to possess the physical agility that the office of President no doubt requires”.
He also recalled an incident in which President Mugabe, during one of his long addresses to Zanu PF delegates, was once forced to wind off his address by his much younger wife, Grace who passed a written note to him to sit down.
Mugabe took amusement with it and told the gathering he had been ordered to stop by his wife, something he said was now routine even at home.
Chinyoka says this showed the Zimbabwean leader was nolonger capable of making his own independent decisions affecting the country.
“I submit that in an open and transparent democracy, the mere fact of a president going into hospital for example, or falling in public, or being routinely asleep on the job, or being told to get off the podium by his wife and complying, or suggesting that he is bullied at home, or falling all over the place, or reading the wrong speech and droning on for an hour without realising it, should, at the very least, lead to a consideration of whether or not section 97 is engaged,” Chinyoka said.
Chinyoka is adamant Mugabe’s cling to power when there was abundant evidence of growing incapacity was inimical to democracy.
President Mugabe has defiantly refused to relinquish power, insisting he will rule until death.
His wife said last year a special wheelchair will be created if the veteran leader, who has ruled his country for 36 years, loses his physical strength.