EDITORIAL COMMENT: When the gavel falls, peace must prevail Chief Justice Luke Malaba

AT 2pm today, the Constitutional Court will rule in the application by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa challenging President Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 presidential election.

The Concourt is the highest court of appeal among our institutions as mortals and we expect all who submitted themselves to its arbitration to respect and be bound by its decision.

People are allowed to have their own interpretations but those are of no force or effect when the gavel falls.

This is why the peace that we have enjoyed since the tragedy of August 1 should be maintained for no one is above the law.

However, it was the process leading to today’s ruling that has captivated viewers.

On Wednesday people were glued to their TV screens all day long while others were livestreaming from online sources and also used social media to follow and comment on goings-on in the court.

When ZBCTV was given the green light to do the live broadcast of the court proceedings, a first in the history of the Judiciary in Zimbabwe, there were reservations in some quarters as some doubted whether the national broadcaster would deliver.

A lot of conspiracy theories were thrown around as arguments swirled that they might censor some of the information.

But as it turned out on Wednesday, ZBCTV became the channel of first choice. And, they did not disappoint a bit.

Viewers saw and heard everything that was done and said in court.

By having a live broadcast of the proceedings, a number of questions were answered, while the fallacies people had about the Judiciary were debunked.

Wednesday’s Concourt sitting was a first for a majority of Zimbabweans to see what the inside of the Constitutional Court looks like.

It was also the first time they saw the full Bench, headed by Chief Justice Luke Malaba sitting.

The evidence was also there for all to see that this was not a “kangaroo court”, but a professionally run court. Issues before the court were competently dealt with according to the laws of Zimbabwe.

Thus it became an informative and educative process that has set its own precedent on the dawn of the Second Republic. As a result, people came up with jokes, memes and even T-shirts using the legal jargon they heard in court.

But, the icing on the cake was the fusion of generations between the Bench and the legal practitioners representing the applicant and the respondents.

The Concourt proceedings showed some of Zimbabwe’s best legal brains. The lawyers acquitted themselves well, and in so   doing they made an emphatic statement that Zimbabweans can handle even the most challenging of cases.

All of the lawyers are products of post-independent Zimbabwe and some of them qualified as advocates long after the illegal sanctions had been imposed on Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe produced the legal minds that people saw arguing this landmark case, lawyers that can work anywhere in the world.

After the Concourt delivers the ruling, people should let Zimbabwe move on and allow the reconstruction of the economy for present and future generations.

When the gavel falls, peace must prevail.

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