MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s legal team is reported to be lodging a petition with The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). The lawyers are seeking to challenge the decision made by the Constitutional Court alleging that it violates the universal human rights of the people of Zimbabwe. Chamisa has refused to accept the decision by the Constitutional Court to dismiss his election petition with costs. We publish the petition below with costs,
ACHPR PETITION CHALLENGING THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ELECTION DECISION IN THE AFRICAN COMMISSION FOR HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS (ACHPR)
1 The MDC Alliance has instructed its local and international team of lawyers to immediately lodge a petition with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (the ACHPR), otherwise known as the Banjul Commission, to challenge the 24 August 2018 Constitutional Court decision controversially validating ZEC’s declaration that Emmerson Mnangagwa won the 30 July 2018 harmonised general election.
2. The grounds of the petition are based on the flagrant and multiple violations of the universal human rights of the voters and people of Zimbabwe by the current Zimbabwean regime and the Constitutional Court, including:
(a) The right to free and fair elections;
(b) The right to a fair hearing before an impartial court;
(c) The right to legal representation by counsel of choice;
(d) The right against undue political interference; and (e) The right to be governed by a legitimate government.
3. Aggrieved African parties and citizens may only approach the ACHPR after internal domestic legal steps have been exhausted. This is clearly the case here since judgments of the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe are not appealable in Zimbabwe, as it is a court of last instance. Available remedies in the ACHPR include declarations of human rights violations and more importantly restitution; which means the restoration of the victim parties and citizens to the original position before the violations.
4. The petition will pray and ask for a declaration that the result of the presidential election was a legal nullity.
If the African Commission makes findings that are different from the Concourt judgment, those findings will not reverse the judgment of the Concourt, however. The African Comm is a quasi-judicial body and it makes recommendations (not judgments) which are not in themselves legally binding upon the State concerned. So the move by the MDC will at best generate recommendations which can be useful in pushing ahead the debate for electoral reforms
Credit: Justice Mavedzenge