Mugabe sycophant Itayi Garande, has exposed why Zimbabwe needs constitutional reform in an editorial where his limited legal knowledge led him to conclude that the MDC's legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe's appointment of Governors is a nullity.
Garande wrote that the MDC challenge was misplaced because Mugabe's position is “beyond the reach of judicial direction, in the exercise of his constitutional, statutory and political powers” - the definition of a dictator.
"...such an election needs proper monitoring and clear rules which should already be in place President Zuma."
The MDC wants the Supreme Court to rule on Mugabe's violation of the Constitution, as read with Article 19 of the Global Political Agreement - which was made part of the Constitution by both Houses of Parliament.
He says that “the Supreme Court will not entertain a suit seeking a ruling directed at a sitting President because Zimbabwe's constitution stipulates that a sitting president cannot be sued, and cannot be the subject of any civil or criminal proceedings.
He supports this by quoting Section 30 (1) of the Constitution which stipulates: that the President may not, while in office, be personally liable to any civil or criminal proceedings whatsoever in any court.
It is clear that it cannot have been the intention of the law to allow the President to interpret or violate the Constitution as he pleases, otherwise there would be no need for a constitution.
As Garande says: “The resultant effect of this provision is that a sitting President will not be sued for "things done or omitted to be done by him before he became President; or things done or omitted to be done by him in his personal capacity during his term of office as President".
Writes Garande:”This also means that the President shall not be brought before the courts, or any enforcement body, for any debt or liability, incurred or accrued before or during his term of office. Any such debt or liability shall be suspended during his term of office as President.
Usurping the role of the Supreme Court Judges who are going to consider the case, Garande gives his judgement; that “Tsvangirai and his advisers have erred in their desire to bring the President before the courts.”
Far from calling into question MDC President Tsvangirai's political judgement and leadership capabilities, the case calls into question Garande's legal acumen and suitability to edit a mass publication and continue misinforming his readers that the President is above the Constitution.
Meanwhile SA President Jacob Zuma has left Harare in a cloud of mystery, saying only that President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have resolved their stand-off and are speaking to one another again - hardly the news that Zimbabweans have been waiting for following the SADC Troika failure.
"They have agreed that there was a breakdown of communication amongst them, and we have resolved that, and so they have agreed to continue meeting," said Zuma in one of the most disappointing statements made on Zimbabwe by a respected leader.
The fact that the statement followed more than four hours of private discussions by the three leaders only leads to one conclusion; that the talks were a total failure, even though the body language of the leaders at the Press conference was reported as “relaxed, with Zuma, Mugabe and Tsvangirai smiling and shaking hands,” according to Associated Press.
Zimbabwe's current coalition government was a result of negotiations crystallised into the Global Political Agreement under which President Mugabe and President Morgan Tsvangira were to share executive power.
Reuters reported that Zuma said he had persuaded Zimbabwe's President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai to start talking again to address the rifts in their power-sharing government.
“But he gave no details, and it was unclear whether progress had been made on the substance of their disagreements, many of them concerning Mugabe's refusal to consult with Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on key appointments.”
Mugabe has said there is no need to extend the life of the coalition, which is up for review in February.
Instead he would rather call elections mid-next year, with or without a new constitution – a constitution which his party has done its best to sabotage.
Zuma's excuse for not going into details was that he had to first brief the three-member "troika" representing the Southern African Development Community – the same Troika which failed to pitch up for its own meeting at the weekend.
"There's this general understanding that we move forward ... and implement our own decisions as well as resolutions of SADC," he said, adding to speculation that the SADC has failed to implement its resolutions on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean analyst Dr John Makumbe had already predicted that Zuma would, just as in the past, go back with half-baked promises from Mugabe.
"He cannot force a solution on these leaders, so it will be another wild goose chase."
The stalemate can only be resolved by an election which will once-and-for-all give the clear voice of Zimbabweans – but such an election needs proper monitoring and clear rules to ensure that a repeat of 2008 does not happen.
One wonders why this is so difficult for Zuma and for the SADC, whose unfulfilled promises have left Zimbabweans in a ten-year limbo.