Mugabe Freely Resigned, Mnangagwa Assumed Office Constitutionally: Chief Justice Malaba Dismisses Challenge

Chief Justice Luke Malaba said former President of Zimbabwe Mr Robert Mugabe freely and voluntarily resigned and the assumption of office by his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa was done in terms of the Constitution.

Malaba said this while dismissing an application by Liberal Democrats and Revolutionary Freedom Fighters as well as activists Bongani Nyathi, Linda Masarira and Vusumuzi Sibanda who sought to nullify the inauguration of President Mnangagwa in November last year. They argued Mugabe tendered his resignation under duress and that the assumption of office by Mnangagwa was unconstitutional. It was also argued that the impeachment process that was instituted prior to Mugabe’s resignation was unlawful and served to coerce him to step down.

Chief Justice Malaba said the contents of Mugabe’s resignation letter also confirm that he freely stepped down and acted in terms of the law. He also said Mnangagwa assumed office in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 14(4) (b) and 14(5) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.Said Malaba:

He said he was free to express his will to resign. Not only does the former President declare in the written notice that he made the decision voluntarily, he gives reasons for doing so in clear and unambiguous language. He said he was motivated by the desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and sustainability.

Chief Justice Malaba slapped the political parties and three activists with an order for costs.

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