MDC submits heads of argument in delimitation case

The MDC will submit its heads of argument at the Constitutional Court, Monday, to prove that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) acted negligently during the delimitation process.

Due to its faulty boundaries, the MDC party leader Douglas Mwonzora said delimitation will create resource inequality in Zimbabwe.

“This delimitation must be done right because it will govern two elections, this one and in 2028  so we better do it right,” he said and insisted the party was not avoiding an election as its political opponents claimed, but rather wanted ZEC to conduct a proper delimitation exercise.

“Of course, our detractors will always try to mischaracterise us because we are serious contenders. It is a historic fact that no opposition political party has ever won an unfree and unfair election in this country.”

Speaking at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Saturday, Mwonzora said the MDC appeared before Judge Paddington Garwe of the ConCourt last Friday for case management, where lawyers representing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Minister of Justice, Ziyambi Ziyambi, stated they would abide by the court’s ruling.

“That is the normal thing, they acted like lawyers and when lawyers don’t argue too much, they know the case is bad. We think we have a solid case and very good prospects of success,” he said.

“The judge did not judge on merit but he made an important observation for us. Justice Garwe said the matter was of importance and has to be heard as a matter of urgency. The judge ordered that on Monday, we submit heads of arguments. On Tuesday, ZEC must submit its head of arguments and on Thursday, the case will be heard by a panel of judges.”

Mwonzora said this suggested that the justices of ConCourt have looked at their case and do not think it is frivolous and vexatious.

“We can deduce that without prejudging what the ConCourt will say,” he said, adding those who thought this case was not sensible, could join in and challenge them in court.

“They are allowed to do that and we see them in court.”

The MDC leader said their argument was in three parts.

“First, the delimitation must be declared invalid null and void. Second, ZEC must be ordered to redo delimitation so that it is in full compliance with constitutional requirements. Third, the Proclamation of the election dates must follow ZEC’s resubmission of the correct delimitation report,” said Mwonzora rubbishing claims that his party was calling for the stopping of elections.

“No, we are saying elections must happen. We are also saying President Mnanagwa must proclaim election dates but just do that when there is a legal regular delimitation report.”

He claimed that experts who helped Justice Priscilla Chigumba did not do her a favour but let her down.

“She deserves our support in making sure that she is given the independence to redo her work. That is why our prayer is saying ZEC must redo, they deserve better expertise,” said the MDC leader.

He insisted that MDC was not afraid of the election.

“That is very unfair criticism. We are challenging something wrong. Those criticising us actually went to court this year challenging ZEC on the voters roll, which is an electoral process.

They lost because their case was poorly done,” Mwonzora said.

“We are actually preparing for an election. That is why we were meeting our structures today (Saturday) at McDonald Hall.”

He added that the elections will be held but there might be a delay.

“Whether there is going to be a delay in the election but an election is coming. We are saying we must put things right. As a prospective presidential candidate, as somebody serious about running the affairs of this country, I want to run a country that is equitable, fair and when we distribute resources we must make sure it is equitable,” Mwonzora said.

“The other political argument that I have advanced is that the country is under sanctions which will be lifted if the country has free and fair elections. An election done under this delimitation report cannot be free, fair and credible, therefore sanctions will be there. We are surprised at people who want sanctions to go but don’t want a free and fair delimitation.”

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