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Caroline Du Plessis



Title: Unraveling the Toxicity of a Broken Governance Order: Implications of a Flawed Constitutional Court

In a society that upholds the principles of justice, fairness, and the rule of law, the role of a Constitutional Court is pivotal. It serves as the guardian of the constitution, entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the actions of the government and its officials align with the supreme law of the land. However, recent revelations within the Zimbabwean governance order shed light on a deeply concerning state of affairs. A broken governance order, a Constitutional Court called into question, and a president accused of misconduct form the backdrop of an affidavit that exposes the toxicity of a system in crisis.

The Mawere Affidavit:
The Mawere affidavit, a five-part document filed by Mutumwa Mawere, outlines a series of serious allegations against President Mnangagwa and the Constitutional Court. Mawere, a prominent figure whose property was targeted and confiscated under a contentious Reconstruction Act, raises fundamental concerns about the conduct of the president and the court’s handling of the case.

Failure to Serve the Application:
One striking allegation in the affidavit is the failure to serve the Mupasiri application, a crucial legal document, on the respondent. This raises concerns about procedural irregularities and questions the adherence to due process. How can a court be expected to make fair and informed decisions when key parties are not properly served with legal documents?

Impartiality and Independence:
The affidavit also highlights concerns about the impartiality and independence of the Constitutional Court. Allegations of involvement by DMH Attorneys, without the knowledge and involvement of the Attorney General, raise suspicions of potential bias. A court must be seen as an independent and impartial arbiter, free from undue influence or conflicts of interest, to maintain public trust and confidence.

Validity and Legality of the Reconstruction Act:
The Mawere affidavit challenges the very foundation of the Reconstruction Act, claiming it is based on false premises and inconsistent with the constitution. Such allegations bring into question the constitutionality and legality of the Act, which grants the state significant powers to interfere in the affairs of private companies. The Constitutional Court must carefully consider these concerns to safeguard constitutional rights and principles.

The Decision on Recusal:
Another crucial issue raised is the decision to dismiss the application for recusal. The affidavit questions whether the decision was made in accordance with legal standards and raises concerns about potential bias or conflicts of interest. Transparency and fairness demand a thorough evaluation of the recusal decision to ensure the integrity of the judicial process.

Urgency and the Rule of Law:
The urgency expressed in the affidavit cannot be understated. The potential implications for the rule of law in Zimbabwe are far-reaching, and prompt action is essential. The Constitutional Court has a vital role in upholding the rule of law, and its response to these allegations will have a lasting impact on future governance in the country.

The Mawere affidavit has revealed a deeply troubling state of affairs within Zimbabwe’s governance order. The allegations against President Mnangagwa and the Constitutional Court raise critical questions about the functioning of key institutions responsible for upholding the rule of law. It is imperative that these concerns are addressed and that the Constitutional Court fulfills its mandate with impartiality, independence, and a commitment to justice. The fate of the rule of law in Zimbabwe hangs in the balance, and the world watches with bated breath for a resolution that upholds the principles of democracy and fairness.

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