17 May 2018

Zimbabwe: High Court Bans All Traditional Leaders From Politics

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MASVINGO High Court on Wednesday 16 May 2018 issued an order in favour of Elton Mangoma and Renewal Democrats Zimbabwe political party banning all traditional leaders from partisan politics.

Justice Garainesu Mawadze, sitting at Masvingo High Court ruled further that:

The President of the Chiefs Council - Chief Fortune Charumbira, and the National Chiefs Council (representing all 282 Chiefs in Zimbabwe) is banned and prohibited from making further political statements on their involvement or allegiance to ZANU PF on any public platform.

All traditional leaders who include chiefs, head persons or village heads as provided in section 280(2) of the Constitution, must not be involved in partisan politics as this is a violation of the right to a free and fair election as provided in section 67 (a) of the Constitution

Conducting of campaigns on behalf of the ruling party by traditional leaders (chiefs, head persons or village heads) was declared unconstitutional and a violation of the right not to be treated unfairly in a discriminatory manner on basis of political affiliation

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is ordered to initiate processes to set up the Integrity and Ethics Committee as provided in section 287 of the Constitution. The Integrity and Ethics Committee is mandated with developing and enforcing integrity and ethical conduct on the part of traditional leaders and to deal with complaints against traditional leaders.

Mangoma and RDZ were represented by Tinotenda Shoko, Lizwe Jamela and Martin Mureri of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

ZLHR is now monitoring implementation of this order.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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