Saturday, May 22, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC fury as Chiweshe named Judge President

MDC fury as Chiweshe named Judge President
by Staff Reporter
21/05/2010 00:00:00

THE MDC reacted with fury on Friday after President Robert Mugabe named George Chiweshe, the controversial former head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, as the new Judge President of the High Court.

Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had not been consulted on Chiweshe’s appointment – the latest strain on the governing coalition formed in February 2009.

“We’re gobsmacked,” Chamisa said. “This is another act in addition to the catalogue of GPA [Global Political Agreement] violations and President Mugabe’s unilateralism. Zanu PF pretends inclusivity, but acts exclusivity.”

Chiweshe was ZEC chairman when election results from the March 2008 elections were delayed by close to a month – analysts said because Zanu PF was trying to manage its first electoral defeat after an uninterrupted 28-year rule.

The MDC says the new Judge President's impartiality is questionable.

In naming Justice Chiweshe as Judge President, Mugabe promoted the former incumbent Justice Rita Makarau to the Supreme Court.

The President also appointed three new High Court justices – magistrates Andrew Mutema and Garainesu Mawadze as well as prominent Bulawayo lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi, brother to Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube.

Chamisa said the latest appointments by President Mugabe followed on his "unilateral altering of ministerial mandates; the gazetting of the indigenisation regulations; the awarding of mining concessions to South African companies; and the appointments of the Reserve Bank governor and Attorney General" without consulting Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, the third principal in the coalition government.

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