Zimbabwe: Malaba Tells MDC to Stop Politicking

30 September 2019

Chief Justice Luke Malaba has warned the opposition MDC against politicking with judicial issues, accusing the movement of misrepresenting facts to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Clement Voule.

The UN Envoy who was in the country last week, met several officials from the government and opposition as well as civil society groups.

Malaba said the MDC misinterpreted facts when it told the UN envoy that they were banned from demonstrating last month but insisted that they approached the wrong court.

This follows a prohibition order imposed by the police against the demonstration.

"You know what they did? They went to the High Court. Surely, you can see that someone could have deliberately done that to create the basis for this kind of opinionated perception.

"If the High Court says it does not have jurisdiction because there is no law which allows one to appeal to it, the applicant would have done harm to his or her own case," said Chief Justice Malaba.

He said the MDC packaged the issues wrongly to the media to create an atmosphere of animosity between the party and the High Court.

"If the High Court makes such a ruling, it has no control over the media or other channels used to now malign it.

"Now the picture is created that the courts are denying people the right to demonstrate. No one accepts the fault of their own lawyers or themselves because it is deliberate.

"We have no means of defending ourselves and setting the record straight that the argument is all political.

"It is a political argument. It is not judicial. Publicity of that and how it is packaged is all political. We don't get involved in politics because we are not politicians, "said Chief Justice Malaba.

He added that the court do not restrict people from appealing any decision made.

"If you are not happy with the order restricting you when you want to march, you can simply go to the magistrates' court," added Malaba.

Chief Justice Luke MalabaMDC

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