Zimbabwe:Mugabe-Backed Party To Challenge Mnangagwa Govt in Court

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo). By Nkosana Dlamini

THE newly formed National Patriotic Front (NPF) says it is preparing to file a Constitutional Court challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's legitimacy, coupled with massive street demonstrations to force the disputed leader out of power.

"We will also make a Constitutional Court application challenging the legality of the government," NPF spokesperson Jealous Mawarire said during a panel discussion as SAPES Trust Wednesday evening.

"We have to unite as Zimbabweans and show the world that what happened in Zimbabwe was a coup."

The panel also had NCA president Lovemore Madhuku and activist Linda Masarira.

In his comments, Mawarire said the Robert Mugabe-backed party led by former cabinet minister Ambrose Mutinhiri was preparing to overwhelm the "junta" with a million protesters onto the streets.

He said they have since petitioned SADC and AU over the illegality of the November 14 military "coup" which forced Mugabe out of power.

"What needs to be done is action on the ground here in Zimbabwe… we are going to demonstrate against the illegality of this government we are going to mobilise people onto the streets.

"We are setting in motion various political and legal processes and we are also mobilising our people to test and to challenge the legitimacy of the junta even in the streets.

"If you believed that Mugabe should have gone because you had mobilised 800,000 people at Zimbabwe Grounds, we are going to mobilise a million people and put them onto the streets of Harare.

"If any President is no longer liked or wanted by a million-plus people, he should go. So, we are going to mobilise a million people in the streets of Harare and maybe see Emmerson Mnangagwa go with his scarf."

Mawarire said the action was not intended at restoring Mugabe's unpopular rule.

The journalist turned political activist also made startling claims the President was being blocked by the military from campaigning for his first election in rural areas.

Prisoner of the military

"Mnangagwa is not campaigning; the army has stopped him from accessing Zanu PF structures," he said.

"That's why he is coming up with funny government programmes like meeting students there, meeting captains of industry there.

"He is campaigning in towns and it's very awkward… the army has taken over control of Zanu PF structures.

"They have conducted a research and came to a point that Mnangagwa is not electable. That's what we are getting.

"They are saying we have to go with a new candidate (Vice President Constantino Chiwenga) and the new candidate is not Mnangagwa … it's an internal coup."

Madhuku, on his part, chastised Zimbabweans for being too pre-occupied with the argument of whether Mugabe's ouster was a coup or not. The Constitutional Law lawyer was blunt it was a coup.

He also said it was unlikely the local bench could arrive at any verdict that delegitimises Mnangagwa and his government given that the country's top most judge Chief Justice Luke Malaba is the one who swore Mnangagwa in as President last year.