- Southern Africa
- Justice - Politics - Governance
Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai to take Mugabe to court over GPA abuse
Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister has expressed his frustration with what he has described as President Mugabe’s arrogance and announced that his party will "consider taking legal action... which will bring into stark light the constitutional crisis"
Morgan Tsvangirai is considering suing Mugabe over a series of unilateral appointments which he has described as “unconstitutional, null and void”.
Mugabe, who has been at the helm of the southern African nation, has lately been making senior appointments without consulting Tsvangirai.
According to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) entered into by the two rivals about two years ago, all government appointments which include provincial governors, judges and ambassadors should be done after consultations.
To resolve the matter that is threatening the survival of the government, the premier has written a letter South African President Jacob Zuma seeking his intervention.
“I am extremely concerned about President Robert Mugabe’s and his party’s lack of commitment either to the GPA, to the Sadc resolutions or the constitution and laws of Zimbabwe. I have now resolved not to recognise any of the illegal appointments made by President Mugabe,” the letter says.
He added, “This applies to a significant number of government positions, including a member of the Cabinet (the Attorney-General), 10 governors and senators, five senior judges of the Supreme and High Courts, and six ambassadors (including to South Africa). My party will also consider taking legal action on these matters, which will bring into stark light the constitutional crisis which we now face.”
Tsvangirai added that: “I have made President Mugabe aware of the legal position and of my concerns on successive occasions and have urged him to respect the law and thus avoid such a confrontation.”
Morgan Tsvangirai is believed to have the backing of his other political rival, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who suggested that the premier should approach the Supreme Court if he had any problems with Mugabe.
“Matters of constitutionalism can only be determined by our courts. The Supreme Court should sit down and decide. There hasn’t been a determination or challenge on the matter,” Mutambara told parliament.
Tsvangirai has notified the Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on the illegal appointment of the judges.
So desperate is Tsvangirai to curb Mugabe’s antics that he has also written to several countries and the United Nations (UN) over the unilateral appointment of ambassadors.
And while the UN says that it could not deal with the issue, the European Union says it was considering the matter.
However, Mugabe has also been on the offensive, worsening their mutual hostility saying Tsvangirai’s complaints as “nonsensical”.
Also to express his displeasure on Mugabe, the premier has been boycotting cabinet meetings and his routine Monday briefing with Mugabe. He skipped on October 11, 18 and 25.