Chiota Challenges Swearing-in Of Parliament

THE Zimbabwe People’s Party president Justine Chiota is seeking to stop the swearing-in of legislators and opening of parliament next week.

 

Chiota’s demand is contained in an urgent Supreme Court application in which he wants the nullification of President Robert Mugabe’s re-election after recently securing a judgement which invalidated his exclusion from the presidential election in March. The nomination court in February rejected Chiota and the United People’s Party leader Daniel Shumba’s papers to enter the race saying they were filed late.

However, a recent Supreme Court ruling said the nomination court’s decision to reject the papers was invalid.

Chiota has demanded that if his application is successful, fresh presidential elections be held within 90 days.

In his application, Chiota said Mugabe should be interdicted from swearing-in MPs and Senators on Monday and also from constituting a new government.

But Chiota appears to have cited an incorrect respondent on the swearing-in of legislators because the ceremony is officiated by the Clerk of Parliament, not the president.

In the same application he also demanded that the power-sharing talks between Zanu PF and MDC be stopped.

Chiota, a controversial former Central Intelligence Organisation officer, stated in his application that the political future of Zimbabwe would be shaped by negotiations predicated on an election conducted regardless of the fact that his rights were violated.

“I also submit that the settlement talks based on the results of the election impugned herein are equally an infringement upon my rights as already declared by this court, and the constitution of the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe based on such talks will be in itself an infringement on my rights aforesaid,” he said.

A fortnight ago Chiota lost his legal bid to join the Sadc-initiated talks between Zanu PF and the two formations of the MDC in the South African High Court.

Justice Ephraim Makgoba of the Pretoria High Court dismissed with costs the urgent application saying the court did not have the power to pronounce on a matter outside its territorial jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Shumba recently approached the Sadc Tribunal seeking to have his party included in the power-sharing talks being mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

By Lucia Makamure

 

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