By Darlington Gatsi
PRESIDENTIAL aspirant, Saviour Kasukuwere is breathing a sigh of relief after High Court struck off the roll a matter in which Zanu PF activist, Lovedale Mangwana, was seeking the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to forge ahead and print the ballot paper without the latter.
Justice Mangota ruled that the matter be struck off the roll with both parties footing their own costs.
In his ruling, Mangota said there is no judicial economy at all for the High Court to hear the matter as that will be dealt with on Thursday.
The application is the latest move by Mangwana who last month sought the court’s favour to bar Kasukuwere from contesting in this year’s general election.
With the High Court ruling in favor of Mangwana, Kasukuwere has since filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the judgment.
The appeal temporarily sets aside the High Court judgment paving way for Kasukuwere to campaign as a Presidential candidate.
In his papers, Mangwana argued that the matter might be concluded after the elections with Kasukuwere’s name on the ballot.
“Whereupon after reading the papers filed of record and/or hearing counsel, it is ordered that leave be and is hereby granted to execute the order granted by this court in case number HC/EC10/23 under judgement number HH-418-23 pending the determination of the appeal in case number SC/387/23. Each party shall bear its own costs.
”I submit that the preponderance of equities is in favour of the relief sought being granted to the extent that: the election is less than two months away and massive expenditure of public resources will soon be underway on the strength of the decision of the Nomination Court 18/66 21.2 the ballot papers for the election will be prepared and printed any time from now, meaning that first respondent’s name will be made part of the election process; the normal procedure for the hearing of appeals is such that it is highly likely that the appeal will be heard and determined after the election and first respondent has participated in it.
“I disclose the fact that I have simultaneously asked the Supreme Court for an order setting down the appeal on an urgent basis. I do not know whether this relief will be granted but even if it is, that would not undermine the fact that the appeal is frivolous and meant simply to result in an election whose result may be constitutionally invalid on account of first respondent having partaken in it. I submit in the circumstances that the court may properly exercise discretion in favour of granting me the relief I seek,” said Mangwana.
Kasukuwere’s chief election officer Jaqueline Sande in a tweet said following Justice Mangota’s there is nothing standing in the way of ZEC to print ballot paper.
“The matter in which Lovedale Mangwana was seeking execution pending appeal was removed from the roll with no order as to cost. @ZECzim there is nothing at this particular moment preventing you from printing the ballot with @Hon_Kasukuwere as presidential candidate,” she said.