High Court judge Justice George Chiweshe has ruled that “Operation Restore Legacy” which was mounted by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and resulted in a military takeover of power was Constitutionally permissible and lawful. The military takeover of power ultimately resulted in the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe stepped down on Tuesday, to make way for his former deputy, now President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In passing judgement, Justice Chiweshe ruled that the military takeover was necessary to prevent unauthorised people from exercising executive function and to stop former president Robert Mugabe’s abdication of his functions. The ruling was made on Friday, in a case which was brought by Joseph Evurath Sibanda and Leonard Chikomba. Then-President Robert Mugabe, the Minister of Defence, Commander Defence Forces of Zimbabwe, and the Attorney General were the First, Second, Third and Fourth Respondents respectively.
Justice Chiweshe in his ruling said:
1. The actions of the Defence Forces (Zimbabwe Defence Forces of Zimbabwe) in intervening to stop the take-over of first respondent’s (Mugabe’s) constitutional functions by those around him are constitutionally permissible and lawful in terms of Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in that:
a. They arrest first respondent’s abdication of constitutional function, and
b.They ensured that non-elected individuals do not exercise executive functions which can only be exercised by elected constitutional functionaries.
2. The actions of the Defence Forces being constitutionally valid, the second respondent has the right to take all such measures and undertake all such acts as will bring the desired end to its intervention.
The case has been overtaken by events as Mugabe had already resigned when the ruling was made, however, it has the effect of legitimising the actions undertaken by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Justice Chiweshe also declared that the decision by former President Robert Mugabe’s to fire Mnangagwa as vice-president on 6 November 2017 was “Null and Void.”
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Retired Brigadier General George Mutandwa Chiweshe is the current Judge President of the High Court of Zimbabwe which makes him the head of the High Court in terms of the Constitution. Before that, he was the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission during the 2008... Read More About George Chiweshe
The High Court of Zimbabwe is one of the Superior Courts of Zimbabwe. The High Court deals at first instance with all high value and high importance cases. It also has a supervisory jurisdiction over all subordinate courts and tribunals. Appeals from the High Court... Read More About High Court
A military coup code-named Operation Restore Legacy was executed in Zimbabwe in November 2017 and it resulted in the forced resignation of President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe had been the leader of Zimbabwe for thirty-seven years. The coup was led by the military general, Constantino Chiwenga... Read More About Operation Restore Legacy