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Defiant Kasukuwere back at ConCourt to fight for his name to be on ballot

Presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere has filed an urgent application at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) seeking an order that places his name back on the ballot while confirming that the High Court decision to bar him from contesting is of no force until confirmed by the ConCourt.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has already begun the printing of ballots. Kasukuwere’s name is not there following the decision of the High Court judge Justice David Mangota to bar him on the basis that he was not in Zimbabwe for 18 months.

The former Zanu-PF political commissar’s appeal against the High Court was thrown out by the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, Kasukuwere’s application for direct access to the ConCourt was denied by Justices Rita Makarau, Elizabeth Gwaunza and Paddington Garwe who argued that the former cabinet minister “failed to demonstrate that the Supreme Court did not act in accordance with the law.”

In his latest urgent application filed at the ConCourt, Kasukuwere wants the court to confirm that the High Court order barring him from running is of no force until confirmed by the ConCourt, and for ZEC to keep his name on the ballot.

“The 1st Respondent obtained an order of constitutional invalidity from the High Court under EC 10/23.

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“The tenor of the order is that the decision of the Nomination Court to accept the applicant’s nomination as a presidential candidate is constitutionally invalid and for that reason, the Applicant is not entitled to stand as a presidential candidate in the forthcoming election.

“The order has not been confirmed by this Honourable court in terms of s 167 (3) of the Constitution,” read part of the application.

“On the 3rd August 2023, the Applicant became aware of the fact that the 2nd Respondent had acted in accordance with the High Court judgment notwithstanding that it has not been confirmed by the Constitutional court and for that reason has no force or effect.

“The 2nd Respondent has printed presidential ballots excluding the Applicant and is about to distribute such ballots to those entitled to exercise postal voting.

“This matter is urgent, if the current ballots are distributed to the electorate, the Applicant’s right to protection of the law and to stand as a candidate (as provided for under ss 56 (1), 67 (2)(a), 67(3)(a) and 67 (3)(b) of the Constitution) will be incurably violated.”

Kasukuwere is vying to stand as an independent presidential candidate and challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the upcoming plebiscite to be held on the 23rd of August.

He is represented in court by top human rights and constitutional lawyer Harrison Nkomo.