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Crime & Courts

A Legal Analysis Of the Tapera Sengweni’s Constitutional Court Application To Stop by-elections

Constitutional-Court of Zim
High Court of Zim


By M Mavhunga Senior Counsel


I will give a general overview of my understanding of the Court Application and its implication.



1.The Application has been brought as an ordinary Application not an Urgent chamber Application.



2.The effect is that it gives the Respondents 10 working days within which to respond.




3.After the response the Applicant will have more time to file an Answering Affidavit.

4.After this process heads of Argument will have to be prepared and filed before the matter is ready for hearing.




5 Ordinarily this will take up to 2 months at earliest.

6.By this time the by election will have been held and results announced.



7.Unless there is a follow up to this Application with an Urgent chamber Application, it is unlikely to be heard, in fact, it cannot be heard, in the normal course of business, before 26 March.


7.A follow up Urgent Chamber Application will have its own challenges.


8.The matter cannot be held on Urgent basis because the Applicant became aware of the proclamation a long time ago but did not act. He cannot sudden claim that its now urgent.



9.On the merits, the Applicant alleges that the proclamation was made out of time therefore illegal.

10.The suspension of by elections was made through a statutory instrument by Health Minister through Covid Regulations.



11.The Applicant did not challenge the legality of these Regulations which means they remain valid until set aside.
He has not cited the Minister of Health who made the illegal regulations.




12.He alleges that the country has no money for elections but the Applicant has not cited the Minister of Finance to support his position. The Applicant has no locus standi to comment on the financial standing of the country without the Minister ‘s input.



Robert Tapfumaneyi