Court ruling doesn’t spell political doom for Mutambara: Experts
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 14:59
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
LEGAL and political analysts say the dismissal in the High Court yesterday of an application by a faction aligned to
Professor Arthur Mutambara to have Professor Welshman Ncube stripped of the MDC presidency does not spell political doom for the Deputy Prime Minister.
It only affects his position in the party if he chooses not to appeal, but not his position in the inclusive Government, where he is Deputy Prime Minister, they argued.
The Mutambara camp had filed an application in the High Court challenging the legality of the 2011 MDC congress that saw Prof Ncube becoming president of the party.
High Court Judge Justice Bharat Patel has dismissed the application.
“Politics is not decided in a court of law. In the public court is where politics is decided,” said political analyst Professor Jonathan Moyo.
He said the courts were only there to clarify legal issues.
On Justice Patel’s ruling, Prof Moyo said: “The outcome was as open as the sky. Everybody expected it even Mutambara himself. There is no big deal.”
He said Prof Mutambara could suspend the ruling by taking his case to the Supreme Court.
Harare lawyer, Mr Chris Mhike, said Prof Mutambara could appeal against the High Court verdict.
“He could appeal against the judgment. If he appeals it suspends the judgment,” he said.
Mr Mhike said the ruling did not affect Prof Mutambara’s position as Deputy Prime Minister in the inclusive Government.
“His position in the inclusive Government is a State position, not a party position. Mutambara might have ceased to be a president of a party but it does not automatically follow that he loses his position in the State,” he said.
Former Attorney-General, Mr Andrew Chigovera said: “The GPA does name names. Zanu-PF is represented by President Mugabe, MDC-T by Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the other one by Mutambara. It is something someone has to pick up — naming people instead of political parties.”
He was reluctant to comment much before seeing the actual judgment itself.
Another lawyer, Mr Terrence Hussein, said the High Court ruling only affected Prof Mutambara’s position in the MDC.
“What goes on in a political party and what goes on in Government are two separate things. Constitutional Amendment Number 19 names individuals — President Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Mutambara. There is that legal difficulty that they have to resolve,” he said.
But a prominent Harare lawyer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the High Court ruling was political embarrassment for DPM Mutambara.
“It does serious damage to his standing . . . politically where is he standing?” the lawyer said.