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Kasukuwere spokesperson forced to apologise for ‘disrespecting’ bribed judges

Former cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s spokesperson Jacqueline Sande who is also a legal practitioner, has apologised to the judiciary for making “disrespectful” sentiments against judges of the Supreme Court who upheld a High Court ruling banning her client from contesting in the recently held 2023 presidential election.

Kasukuwere was stopped from contesting on the controversial basis that he was not in the country for more than 18 months.

When he appealed to the Supreme Court, it endorsed the High Court ruling leading to Sande making a series of statements against the judges involved including that they were bribed with houses before handling his client’s case.

She, however, went public on Wednesday saying that she had received a letter from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) demanding she retract her statements and apologise.

She decided to comply saying:

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“I was asked to retract the words I said and make a public apology pertaining to the same. I have carefully considered my utterances and sentiments and sought wise counsel from colleagues pertaining to the same,” Sande said.

“Now therefore, Chief Justice, Judges of the Constitutional Court, Judges of the Supreme Court and in particular Justices Guvava J.A, Bhunu J.A and Chatukuta J.A and all Judges of the High Court together with the entire family of the Judicial Service Commission, I Jacqueline Sande a senior practitioner and founder of the firm Sande Legal Practice hereby retract all the utterances I made during the press conferences which were found to be in bad taste or to be disrespectful to the judiciary and which were circulated on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms on the 28th of July 2023.

“I accept that in my passion on behalf of my Principal, I may have gone too far as an officer of the court and the words I said may have come across as disrespectful of the bench.

“I unreservedly tender my sincere apologies and further, I unconditionally retract the words that were found to be so disrespectful or contentious of the bench and the entire judiciary. Going forward I shall be mindful that my primary and ethical duty lies in the courts.”

Zimbabwe’s harmonised general election was held on 23 and 24 August. Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa won with 52,6% against main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s 44%.

International observers like the European Union, African Union, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the United States discredited the plebiscite saying it was not free and fair.