It defies logic to hold by-elections: Analysts
Saturday, 21 July 2012 00:00
Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
LEGAL experts and political analysts yesterday expressed mixed views on the Supreme Court
ruling compelling President Mugabe to set the date for by-elections by August 30 this year. Some said the country could not pump millions of dollars on by-elections when general elections were expected soon.
It is understood that by-elections in about 38 parliamentary vacant constituencies could chew up about US$38 million.
University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, said there was no need for the Government to spend money on by-elections with general polls to be held a few months down the line.
“The law doesn’t compel people to do the impossible, that is basic law,” Prof Madhuku said.
“It doesn’t make sense to have by-elections and then have general elections a few months after.
“The President can actually apply for stay of execution of the Supreme Court ruling at the High Court, but he will have to do it within the time frame given by the Supreme Court.
“He will have to go to the High Court with specific dates of when general elections will be held. He will have to show willingness to abide by the law when he applies for stay of execution.”
Prof Madhuku said the inclusive Government could use the issue of limited resources at the High Court so that they can be given “a breathing space”. He also castigated the MDC-T for double standards saying if they were ready for by-elections, they were equally ready for general elections under the same conditions.
Dr Charity Manyeruke, University of Zimbabwe lecturer in the Department of International Relations, said there was need for political parties to be conversant with the law and the country’s economic situation.
“We had the Finance Minister cutting the national budget a few days ago because there is no money and now he is faced with this responsibility of securing funds for the by-elections.
“Why should we waste money on by-elections when general elections are due by June next year?
“It is important for politicians to know the implications of their actions. They approached the courts and the courts lawfully ruled, but if our politicians had not approached the courts we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Dr Manyeruke said.
However, former Attorney General Mr Andrew Chigovera said the by-elections were supposed to be held in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling that called for the elections to be held in three Matabeleland constituencies.
“If Government say they want elections to be held in the other constituencies then they should have done that when they fell vacant.
“In this case the ruling is on the three constituencies, the issue of resources can’t be brought up because that was quashed by the court,” he said.
Mr Terrence Hussein of Hussein and Ranchhod law firm said there was no flexibility on the part of Government to say the general elections were near. He said the by-elections were supposed to be held in compliance with the ruling.