The Constitutional Court has dismissed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) leader Douglas Mwonzora’s court application challenging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delimitation report.

Mwonzora, who leads the MDC-T amalgamated with MDC Alliance, wanted the delimitation report set aside and to have elections set for August postponed.

The case was fought on the ConCourt battlefield, with the main battle concentrated on the question of locus standi
(the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court).

Chief Justice Luke Malaba led the assault on Mwonzora, saying he had no locus standi as he intends to be a presidential election candidate in the upcoming elections who is not affected by the drawing of constituency and ward boundaries.

The constituency and ward boundaries relate to the election of Members of Parliament and councillors, not the president.

For the presidential election, there is only one constituency – the whole country.

In his assault on Mwonzora, Malaba was assisted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission lawyer Tawanda Kanengoni.

ZEC was the first respondent.
However, some lawyers say the Concourt judgment is flawed.

  1. “This is a flawed judgment for several reasons.

Firstly, Mwonzora is a Zimbabwean who has a legitimate interest in the elections. Secondly, he leads a political party which will field candidates for the Presidential, National Assembly and Municipal elections. Thirdly, he is going to be a presidential election candidate himself.

Even if for the presidential election there is only one constituency – which is the whole country – Mwonzora has a legitimate interest in the outcome and integrity of the delimitation process of constituencies and wards as a party leader.

If they genuinely wanted him to deal with the case, then they should have asked him to enjoin two candidates, one for MP and the other for councillor, and dealt with substantive issues and the case on its merit.

To dismiss such an important application with huge implications for elections and democracy on a technicality is a disservice to justice, elections and democracy in Zimbabwe,” one lawyer who asked not to be named said.

“This is a political judgment and it signifies what is going to follow. The courts will be ruling in favour of the system, meaning Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, throughout.”