Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Mugabe?s war on opposition not over

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe, hoping to extend his 21-year rule despite discontent over the collapsing economy and alleged corruption, is likely to pursue his unprecedented war against the judiciary, media and opposition, say political analysts and legal experts.

Mugabe, who faces presidential elections within 14 months, has managed to get rid of white Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, but – crucially – has not broken the independent spirit of Zimbabwe’s judiciary.

Gubbay’s four Supreme Court colleagues and many of the 24 High Court judges have a record of fearless and independent action and are likely to continue to measure Mugabe against the constitution and protection of human rights.

”We should be able to continue enjoying an independent judiciary if the executive stops tampering with judges,” said Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe made an uncharacteristic climbdown last week, avoiding a constitutional crisis by giving Gubbay room to leave office with some dignity through retirement.

The government backed down from a bid to kick Gubbay out in humiliating fashion, instead signing a compromise deal including the withdrawal of all allegations of bias against him.

Gubbay and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a joint statement he would go on pre-retirement leave immediately and would retire 10 months early at the end of June.

For two days Gubbay, 69, had defied an order to take early retirement from March 1 while the government insisted he was retired and that it could appoint a successor.

”The government made some concessions in terms of both style and substance,” said political analyst Emmanuel Magade, a law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.

* Gunmen have shot and killed the mother of a farmer slain last year at the start of Mugabe’s campaign to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks, a relative said. 68-year-old Gloria Olds was found shot on her farm near Bulawayo, where she lived alone.

Olds’ son, Martin, was the second of five white farmers killed last year in a land-grab sanctioned by Mugabe and headed by veterans of the former Rhodesia’s 1970s liberation war. Two more white farmers were killed in apparent robberies. – Reuters

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and get the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. For the latest updates and political analysis, sign up to our daily elections newsletter.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, a full year’s access is just R510, half the usual cost. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Mkhwebane to forge ahead with blocking Mabuyane’s judicial review

The Eastern Cape premier has been granted a temporary reprieve from the public protector’s remedial action, but the fight is far from over

Nongoma NFP candidate the latest victim of KwaZulu-Natal’s killing fields

National Freedom Party candidates in the Zululand town have gone into hiding amid fears that they will be targeted next

Khaya Koko: Katlehong is Mzwandile Masina’s ‘Animal Farm’

The Ekurhuleni mayor’s family home and the Katlehong section in which it is situated are spared the debilitating five-hour blackouts from powerless Eskom

Police were told to stop using shotguns before Julies murder

In both Marikana and the 2014 Brits protests, the police claimed ignorance about the use of banned birdshot ammunition
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×