‘President Can Be Overthrown Legally Before Term Expires’

High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze said there are provisions in the Constitution of Zimbabwe for the President to be removed from office before his or her term expires.

Justice Mawadze made the remarks while dismissing the treason allegations levelled against MDC vice-chairperson and Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala, in Masvingo on Friday. He said:

The Constitution provides for the removal of an elected President before his term expires, even against his wishes. It also provides for the legal overthrow of a government. From the accused’s statements, there is no reference to the use of unconstitutional means.

Accused is well suited to initiate constitutional processes as a legislator. I am not persuaded by the State’s submissions in that the accused’s statements relate to breaching section 22 of the Constitution. I do not find the nexus between the two. There is nothing criminal in the utterances.

Sikhala was dragged before the High Court on a treason charge after he reportedly told a party rally in Bikita last year that “We will overthrow President Mnangagwa before 2023”.

Sikhala, through his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa had applied for exception to the charge, arguing that the charges were vague, and Justice Mawadze concurred.

In dismissing the charge, Justice Mawadze said the State failed to prove a prima facie case that Sikhala wanted to stage a coup, the mere use of the words “war or fight” were not sufficient to convict him.

More: NewsDay

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