from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – SUGGESTIONS by Zimbabwe’s government that South African lawyers of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance must apply for permission to work in Zimbabwe have been denounced as a ploy to frustrate the opposition’s challenge to the election of Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It is uncertain if Advocates Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi would be allowed to represent the party’s Nelson Chamisa when the hearing starts on Wednesday at the Constitutional Court.
MDC Alliance claims Chamisa won the presidential poll ahead of the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front’s (ZANU-PF’s) Mnangagwa but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) rigged the outcome.
Mpofu and Ngcukaitobi were said to be in Zimbabwe this past weekend but Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, was quoted as saying they must apply to his office to be granted permission to work in the neighbouring country.
“They need to apply to me to consider the request and advice the Law Society of Zimbabwe accordingly. They know the procedure to follow. As it is, I do not know what their game plan is,” the minister stated.
Prof Jonathan Moyo, former Zimbabwe cabinet minister and a Mnangagwa critic, slammed the suggestion.
“Ziyambi Ziyambi is either being dishonest or malicious. If neither applies, then he is ignorant,” Moyo said.
Moyo, who also believes ZEC rigged the poll, argued Chamisa’s lawyers delivered documents to Ziyambi’s office last Friday, despite the minister’s denial.
“A justice minister should speak through facts, not propaganda,” Moyo blasted.
Former newspaper editor, Edmund Kudzayi, believes Mpofu and Ngcukaitobi are key figures in MDC Alliance’s court bid to overturn Mnangagwa’s election.
“These esteemed South African advocates have not come to Zimbabwe to risk their reputation. They have come to make history,” Kudzayi said.
Nkululeko Sibanda, Chamisa’s spokesman, said the presence of the South African lawyers was valuable.
“Mr Chamisa sought to put together the best legal brains to prosecute his petition,” Sibanda said.
Chamisa approached the courts after ZEC announced Mnangagwa the winner with 50,8 percent of the total vote against his 44,3 percent.
– CAJ News