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US embassy says Chief Justice Chidyausiku is a ZANU-PF stooge

The United States embassy described current Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku as a Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front stooge.

The embassy was commenting after judgment in the case of Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, which had been referred to the Supreme Court, had been deferred indefinitely.

Tsvangirai was being charged under the Law and Order Maintenance Act with terrorism and incitement after he said President Robert Mugabe should go peacefully or he would be removed violently.

His lawyer Chris Andersen challenged the constitutionality of the Law and Order Maintenance Act in the Supreme Court.

Justice Wilson Sandura deferred judgement indefinitely prompting the United States embassy to comment that the case had probably been deferred because Acting Chief Justice Chidyausiku had not yet been formally been appointed Chief Justice.

“It is unclear whether Chidyausiku, as Acting Chief Justice and a known ZANU-PF stooge, has the clout to convince the other justices that the LOMA sections are constitutional,” the embassy said.

“Recent conversations with the other justices tell us the rest of the bench favours striking down the LOMA sections in question. It may be Chidyausiku’s intention to delay a judgment as long as possible to keep the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the MDC leader and to give himself more time to figure out how to produce an outcome favourable to the ruling party.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE2173, ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT DEFERS DECISION IN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2173

2001-07-13 10:42

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

131042Z Jul 01

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4369

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02173 131041Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00  EB-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   DCP-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01

OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00

IRM-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /010W

——————051FA5 131041Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9306

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002173

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/13/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT DEFERS DECISION IN

TSVANGIRAI INCITEMENT CASE

 

 

SIPDIS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02173 131041Z

REFS: A) HARARE 1536, B) HARARE 767

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES MARK WOERNER FOR

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (U) THE ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT DEFERRED INDEFINITELY

A DECISION IN OPPOSITION MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN

TSVANGIRAI’S CHALLENGE OF SECTIONS OF THE LAW AND ORDER

 

SIPDIS

MAINTENANCE ACT (LOMA) AFTER HEARING ARGUMENTS FROM

TSVANGIRAI’S AND THE GOVERNMENT’S ATTORNEYS ON JULY 12.

 

SIPDIS

THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE HAS CHARGED TSVANGIRAI WITH

INCITEMENT AND TERRORISM FOR PUBLIC REMARKS IN SEPTEMBER

2000 IN WHICH THE MDC LEADER SAID ZIMBABWEANS WOULD

REMOVE PRESIDENT MUGABE BY FORCE IF HE DID NOT “GO

PEACEFULLY.” AFTER HEARING BOTH SIDES, JUSTICE WILSON

SANDURA NOTED THAT THE LOMA WAS PASSED BY THE RHODESIAN

REGIME IN AN ATTEMPT TO SUPPRESS DEMOCRACY, ACCORDING TO

THE INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS.” CHRIS ANDERSEN, THE

ATTORNEY REPRESENTING TSVANGIRAI, REPORTEDLY STATED THAT

IF THE SUPREME COURT RULES THE LOMA SECTIONS

CONSTITUTIONAL AND TSVANGIRAI’S CASE GOES TO TRIAL IN

THE HIGH COURT, HE WOULD SUBPOENA ATTORNEY-GENERAL

ANDREW CHIGOVERA ON HIS SELECTIVE APPLICATION OF THE

LAW.

 

2. (C) COMMENT: TSVANGIRAI’S CASE IS THE FIRST MAJOR

CONSTITUTIONAL CASE TO COME BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT

SINCE CHIEF JUSTICE ANTHONY GUBBAY STEPPED ASIDE IN

MARCH. ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU HAS NOT

YET BEEN FORMALLY APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE, AND THIS

COULD BE A FACTOR IN THE COURT’S DECISION TO DEFER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02173 131041Z

JUDGMENT. IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER CHIDYAUSIKU, AS ACTING

CHIEF JUSTICE AND A KNOWN ZANU-PF STOOGE, HAS THE CLOUT

TO CONVINCE THE OTHER JUSTICES THAT THE LOMA SECTIONS

ARE CONSTITUTIONAL. RECENT CONVERSATIONS WITH THE OTHER

JUSTICES TELL US THE REST OF THE BENCH FAVORS STRIKING

DOWN THE LOMA SECTIONS IN QUESTION. IT MAY BE

CHIDYAUSIKU’S INTENTION TO DELAY A JUDGMENT AS LONG AS

POSSIBLE TO KEEP THE CLOUD OF UNCERTAINTY HANGING OVER

THE MDC LEADER AND TO GIVE HIMSELF MORE TIME TO FIGURE

OUT HOW TO PRODUCE AN OUTCOME FAVORABLE TO THE RULING

PARTY. END COMMENT.

 

WOERNER

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

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