Legal community was concerned about appointment of Chidyausiku


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The legal community was concerned about the appointment of Godfrey Chidyausiku as Acting Chief Justice because if he was appointed Chief Justice he would be in a position to help President Robert Mugabe remove Supreme and High Court judges and replace them with judges who were compliant with Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

The president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Sternford Moyo told United States embassy officials that the appointment of Chidyausiku would mark the end of any hope for a truly democratic transition in Zimbabwe.

He said civil society groups only had the independent judiciary to turn to in trying to restrain the authoritarian practices of Mugabe and ZANU-PF.

Moyo requested assistance from the US in researching how the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, and those in Commonwealth countries, were appointed, to include grounds upon which appointments were denied, for example, extreme political views, criminal conduct, or immoral behaviour.

Although President Mugabe had the prerogative to appoint whoever he wished Moyo thought that the Judicial Services Commission, of which he was a member, had a key role in advising the President on the appointment of a Chief Justice.

Members of the Judicial Services Commission wanted to find a way of blocking Chidyausiku’s appointment.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE1026, ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1026

2001-03-15 11:26

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

151126Z Mar 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2110

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 BBG-00   R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————D20CD6 151130Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8433

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001026

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, AA/AFR – VDICKSON-HORTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z

THAT MUGABE IS SUBVERTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’ AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS 1.5 (B/D).

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) ON MARCH 9, ACTING PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT

SECRETARY (PDAS) MARK BELLAMY, CHARGE EARL IRVING, AND

 

SIPDIS

ECONOFF (NOTETAKER) MET WITH STERNFORD MOYO, PRESIDENT

OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF ZIMBABWE AND A MEMBER OF THE

JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION, AND BEATRICE MTETWA, THE

ZIMBABWEAN LAWYER WHO IS COORDINATING THE OPPOSITION

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE’S (MDC) LEGAL CHALLENGES

TO LAST JUNE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, TO DISCUSS THE

STATE OF THE JUDICIARY IN ZIMBABWE. BELLAMY EXPRESSED

THE USG’S CONCERN THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ)

IS SELECTIVELY APPLYING THE RULE OF LAW, AND IS

THREATENING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY. HE ADDED

THAT BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CRISES

AFFECTING ZIMBABWE, AND THE GOZ’S REACTIONS TO THESE

CRISES, THE USG WAS RE-EVALUATING ITS POLICIES TOWARDS

THE GOZ. MOYO AND MTETWA AGREED THAT THE SITUATION IN

ZIMBABWE IS DETERIORATING, AND THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS

ACTIVELY UNDERMINING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY.

MOYO PINPOINTED THE THREAT TO THE JUDICIARY’S

INDEPENDENCE TO HAVE BEGUN IN EARNEST IN FEBRUARY 2000

AFTER A MAJORITY OF ZIMBABWEAN VOTERS REJECTED THE DRAFT

CONSTITUTION SUPPORTED BY MUGABE. WITH THE FINAL

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z

AGREEMENT ON THE RESIGNATION OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE

SUPREME COURT ON MARCH 2, MOYO FEARS THAT THE CONTINUED

INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY IS EXTREMELY PRECARIOUS.

THE LAW SOCIETY PRESIDENT INDICATED THAT THE MAJORITY OF

THE MEMBERS OF THE ZIMBABWE LEGAL PROFESSION OPPOSE

THESE DEVELOPMENTS. MOYO IS ALSO COORDINATING EFFORTS

TO DETERMINE IF THERE IS A WAY TO BLOCK MUGABE’S

APPOINTMENT OF GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU, THE JUDGE PRESIDENT

OF THE HIGH COURT, AS THE NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE

SUPREME COURT. IN A SEPARATE MEETING WITH BELLAMY ON

MARCH 10, CHIEF JUSTICE ANTHONY GUBBAY SAID THAT HE NOW

BELIEVES MUGABE IS DETERMINED TO ELIMINATE THE

INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY, AND THAT HE WILL NOT GIVE

UP POWER, EVEN IF HE LOSES THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————

BELLAMY EXPRESSES USG CONCERNS

——————————

 

2. (C) BELLAMY OPENED THE MEETING BY EXPRESSING THE

HEIGHTENED USG CONCERN WITH DEVELOPMENTS THAT APPEAR TO

THREATEN ZIMBABWE’S DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS. BELLAMY

SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED THE BOMBING OF “THE DAILY NEWS”

PRINTING PRESS, THE FORCED RESIGNATION OF THE CHIEF

JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, ANTHONY GUBBAY, AND THE

EXPULSION OF TWO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS, AS PARTICULARLY

ALARMING DEVELOPMENTS. HE STATED THAT WASHINGTON

WORRIED THAT THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE WAS

DETERIORATING RAPIDLY, AND SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED THE

USG CONCERN THAT THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z

APPEARS THREATENED. HE ASKED MOYO AND MTETWA WHAT THEY

FELT WOULD BE PROPER RESPONSES BY THE USG TO THIS

SITUATION.

 

—————————————–

A LONG TRADITION OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

—————————————–

 

3. (C) MOYO LAID OUT THE HISTORY OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

IN ZIMBABWE GOING BACK TO THE COLONIAL PERIOD. HE

STATED THAT EXCEPT FOR SPECIFIC CASES DURING THE

COLONIAL, UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, AND

POST-INDEPENDENCE PERIODS, THE JUDICIARY HAS ALWAYS

MAINTAINED ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM THE EXECUTIVE AND

LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF THE GOZ. AT THE TIME OF

ZIMBABWE’S INDEPENDENCE IN 1980, THE JUDICIARY DECIDED

THAT JUDGES COULD SERVE THE NEW GOVERNMENT REGARDLESS OF

WHO WAS IN POWER. FOLLOWING THE 1980 ELECTIONS, THERE

WAS A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE NEW MUGABE GOVERNMENT AND

THE JUDICIARY OVER WHOM WOULD BECOME THE CHIEF JUSTICE.

THE JUDICIARY WANTED TO FOLLOW THE RULE THAT THE SENIOR

APPELLATE JUDGE WOULD BECOME CHIEF JUSTICE. THE THEN

PRIME MINISTER MUGABE, ON THE OTHER HAND, WANTED TO MAKE

A POLITICAL APPOINTEE CHIEF JUSTICE. IN THE END, A

COMPROMISE WAS REACHED WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF A JUSTICE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2112

 

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ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 BBG-00   R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————D20CE5 151130Z /38

R 151126Z MAR 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8434

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001026

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, AA/AFR – VDICKSON-HORTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z

THAT MUGABE IS SUBVERTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

 

WHO HAD RESIGNED FROM THE RHODESIAN SUPREME COURT IN

1968, FOLLOWING DISAGREEMENTS WITH THE UDI GOVERNMENT

OVER LEGAL RULINGS, AND HAD RETURNED TO THE UNITED

KINGDOM. MOYO CONCLUDED THAT UP UNTIL A YEAR AGO, WITH

A FEW NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS RELATED TO COURT DECISIONS

DURING THE 1983-87 REPRESSION OF THE NDEBELE IN SOUTHERN

ZIMBABWE, THE GOZ HAD LARGELY RESPECTED THE JUDICIARY’S

INDEPENDENCE AND HAD ENFORCED COURT RULINGS.

 

———————————–

THE ASSAULT ON THE JUDICIARY BEGINS

———————————–

 

4. (C) ACCORDING TO MOYO, THE GOZ ASSAULT ON THE

JUDICIARY BEGAN IN EARNEST FOLLOWING THE VOTER REJECTION

OF THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION IN FEBRUARY 2000. MOYO

BELIEVES THAT MUGABE AND THE GOZ PANICKED FOLLOWING THIS

VOTE, AND BEGAN TO SEE ENEMIES IN EVERY CORNER OF THE

COUNTRY. WHEN THE GOZ-SPONSORED FARM INVASIONS BY “WAR

VETS” AND SQUATTERS BEGAN IN EARNEST FOLLOWING THE “NO”

VOTE ON THE CONSTITUTION, COURT RULINGS AGAINST THESE

INVASIONS PUT THE JUDICIARY ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH

MUGABE AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOZ. SINCE LAST

FEBRUARY THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF SUPREME COURT AND

HIGH COURT RULINGS THAT HAVE ORDERED THE GOZ TO EVICT

THE “WAR VETS” AND SQUATTERS FROM OCCUPIED FARMS, AS

WELL AS TO FOLLOW EXISTING LAW IN UNDERTAKING LAND

REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT. MOYO ADDED THAT OVER THE PAST

YEAR THE GOZ HAS (IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COMMERCIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z

FARMERS UNION) AGREED TO TWO SUPREME CONSENT ORDERS (ONE

IN MARCH 2000, THE OTHER IN NOVEMBER 2000) THAT STATED

THAT THE GOZ WAS NOT FOLLOWING ITS OWN LAWS IN PURSUING

THE “FAST-TRACK” RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM, AND THAT IT

SHOULD BEGIN TO DO SO BY REMOVING THE OCCUPIERS.

FOLLOWING THE NOVEMBER CONSENT ORDER, “WAR VETS” BEGAN

TO THREATEN THE SUPREME COURT JUDGES, AND THE GOZ BEGAN

A FULL-COURT PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN THAT CLAIMED THE

JUDICIARY WANTED TO BRING BACK “WHITE SETTLER” RULE AND

AGAIN MAKE ZIMBABWE A COLONY OF BRITAIN. THIS CAMPAIGN

RESULTED IN CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY REQUESTING A MEETING

WITH ACTING PRESIDENT SIMON MUZENDA (MUGABE WAS OUT OF

THE COUNTRY). AT THIS MEETING, GUBBAY REQUESTED THAT

THE GOZ OFFER ADDITIONAL PROTECTION TO THE JUSTICES, AND

IF THEY WOULD NOT, GUBBAY STATED THAT HE MIGHT HAVE TO

RESIGN. MOYO OPINED THAT THE GOZ SEIZED ON THIS

STATEMENT, AND FORCED GUBBAY TO TENDER HIS RESIGNATION

TWO DAYS LATER.

 

—————————————

APPOINTING A RUBBER STAMP CHIEF JUSTICE

—————————————

 

5. (C) AFTER CONSIDERABLE WRANGLING, A FINAL AGREEMENT

WAS REACHED ON MARCH 2 BETWEEN THE GOZ AND GUBBAY,

WHEREBY THE LATTER WOULD GO ON LEAVE FROM THE BEGINNING

OF MARCH UNTIL THE END OF JUNE. PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD,

AS A RESULT, BE FREE TO APPOINT AN ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE,

BUT COULD NOT APPOINT A NEW CHIEF JUSTICE UNTIL JULY 1.

MUGABE QUICKLY NOMINATED THE JUDGE PRESIDENT OF THE HIGH

COURT, GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU, AS THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z

ON MARCH 9, AND HE WAS SWORN IN ON MARCH 13.

CHIDYAUSIKU HAD LONG BEEN RUMORED TO BE MUGABE’S CHOICE

FOR CHIEF JUSTICE DUE TO HIS LONG HISTORY AS A LOYAL

SUPPORTER OF ZANU-PF. (NOTE: CHIDYAUSIKU HEADED THE

CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION THAT PREPARED THE DRAFT

CONSTITUTION THAT WAS REJECTED IN THE FEBRUARY 2000

REFERENDUM. ZIMBABWEAN CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS HAD

PUBLICLY PROCLAIMED THAT THE CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

PROCESS HAD BEEN HIJACKED BY THE GOZ AND THE FINAL

VERSION DID NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF ZIMBABWEAN

SOCIETY. END NOTE.) MOYO ADMITTED THAT MUGABE HAD THE

CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO APPOINT WHOMEVER HE CHOSE AS

ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE. HOWEVER, HE STATED THAT THE ISSUE

IS NOT CLEAR FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A CHIEF JUSTICE.

ACCORDING TO MOYO, THE JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION

(JSC), OF WHICH HE IS A MEMBER, HAS A KEY ROLE IN

ADVISING THE PRESIDENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF A CHIEF

JUSTICE. HE MADE CLEAR THAT MEMBERS OF THE JSC WOULD

LIKE TO FIND A WAY TO BLOCK CHIDYAUSIKU’S APPOINTMENT AS

CHIEF JUSTICE. MOYO IS CONCERNED THAT IF CHIDYAUSIKU IS

APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE HE WILL BE IN A POSITION TO HELP

MUGABE REMOVE OTHER SUPREME COURT AND HIGH COURT

JUSTICES, AND REPLACE THEM WITH JUDGES WHO WILL BE

COMPLIANT WITH MUGABE AND ZANU-PF. THIS WOULD,

ACCORDING TO MOYO, MARK THE END OF ANY HOPE FOR A TRULY

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2113

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 BBG-00   R-00     PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————D20CEF 151130Z /38

R 151126Z MAR 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8435

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001026

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, AA/AFR – VDICKSON-HORTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z

THAT MUGABE IS SUBVERTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

 

DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION IN ZIMBABWE. MOYO STATED THAT

CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS ONLY HAVE THE INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY

TO TURN TO IN TRYING TO RESTRAIN THE AUTHORITARIAN

PRACTICES OF MUGABE AND ZANU-PF.

 

6. (C) FOR THIS REASON, MOYO REQUESTED OUR ASSISTANCE IN

RESEARCHING HOW THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME

COURT, AND THOSE IN COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES, ARE

APPOINTED, TO INCLUDE GROUNDS UPON WHICH APPOINTMENTS

ARE DENIED (E.G. EXTREME POLITICAL VIEWS, CRIMINAL

CONDUCT, IMMORAL BEHAVIOR, ETC.)

 

——————————–

CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY PESSIMISTIC

——————————–

 

7. (C) BELLAMY AND CHARGE CALLED ON CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY

AT HIS HOME MARCH 10. THE SOFT-SPOKEN JUDGE RECOUNTED

HOW WAR VETERANS HAD INVADED THE SUPREME COURT AFTER ITS

DECISIONS ON THE “FAST-TRACK” PROGRAM AND THE FARM

INVASIONS. GUBBAY POINTED OUT THAT ALTHOUGH THE

DECISIONS HAD BEEN LABELED “RACIST” BY THE GOZ, THEY HAD

ACTUALLY BEEN MADE BY NON-WHITE JUDGES. GUBBAY ADDED

THAT WHITE JUDGES ARE A MINORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF BOTH

THE HIGH AND SUPREME COURTS, BUT THE GOZ DOES NOT LIKE

TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS. GUBBAY CONFIRMED THAT VICE

PRESIDENT MUZENDA HAD REFUSED TO GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF

JUSTICES FROM THE “WAR VETS”. MINISTER OF JUSTICE

PATRICK CHINAMASA TOLD GUBBAY THAT IT WAS “NORMAL” FOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z

“WAR VETS” TO REACT BADLY TO THE COURT’S DECISIONS, AND

THAT THE JUSTICES SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED THIS. GUBBAY

SAID HE HAD DESPAIRED AT HIS INABILITY TO REASON WITH

MUZENDA AND CHINAMASA. GUBBAY INDICATED THAT THE

ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY DID NOT RATE HIGHLY JUDGE

PRESIDENT CHIDYAUSIKU IN TERMS OF EITHER EXPERTISE OR

IMPARTIALITY. HE ADDED THAT THE REMAINING FOUR SUPREME

COURT JUSTICES – ALL OF WHOM GUBBAY PRAISED FOR THEIR

PROFESSIONALISM AND ETHICS – WOULD ACT AS A BRAKE ON THE

NEW CHIEF JUSTICE FOR AT LEAST A WHILE. GUBBAY REVEALED

THAT THERE IS NO GOOD LEGAL WAY FOR PRESIDENT MUGABE TO

OUST THE REMAINING JUSTICES AND THAT HE WOULD MOST

LIKELY INSTEAD ATTEMPT TO PACK THE COURT WITH ZANU-PF

LOYALISTS. (NOTE: THE ZIMBABWE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT

SET A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES.

END NOTE.) THE CHIEF JUSTICE IS CONVINCED THAT MUGABE

WILL NOT RELINQUISH POWER EVEN IF HE LOSES THE NEXT

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HE ADDED THAT HE IS DEEPLY

SADDENED THAT ZIMBABWE’S HIGHEST COURTS, WHICH HAD FOR

TWENTY YEARS OPERATED AS A STRONG CONSTITUTIONAL CHECK

AGAINST ABUSES OF EXECUTIVE POWER, APPEARED TO BE

NEARING AN END AS AN INDEPENDENT BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT.

 

——–

COMMENT:

——–

 

8. (C) WE SHARE GUBBAY’S AND MOYO’S CONCERN FOR THE

CONTINUED INDEPENDENCE OF THE ZIMBABWE JUDICIARY. THERE

IS A CONCERTED EFFORT BY MUGABE AND HIS SYCOPHANTS IN

THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF THE GOZ TO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z

POLITICIZE BOTH THE HIGH AND SUPREME COURTS. THIS

CAMPAIGN IS REFLECTED IN THE ZANU-PF-CONTROLLED

PARLIAMENT VOTING IN FAVOR OF A MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE

IN THE JUDICIARY ON FEBRUARY 28. THE GOZ AGREED IN ITS

MARCH 2 SETTLEMENT WITH GUBBAY TO REFRAIN FROM ATTACKING

JUSTICES THROUGH GOZ-CONTROLLED MEDIA (WE DOUBT THAT THE

GOZ WILL HONOR THIS AGREEMENT.) FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE,

THE USG CAN PROVIDE THE GREATEST ASSISTANCE TO THE

SUPPORTERS OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN ZIMBABWE BY

CONTINUING TO PUBLICLY STATE, IN UNEQUIVOCAL TERMS, OUR

POSITION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE FOR

THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN ZIMBABWE, AND THAT EFFORTS AT

DESTROYING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY WILL HAVE

REPERCUSSIONS IN BILATERAL RELATIONS. WE EXPLAINED TO

MOYO THAT THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR A CHIEF JUSTICE OF

THE US SUPREME COURT IS NOT DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO THAT

OF A CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT. WE

ENCOURAGED HIM TO CONTACT THE HIGH COMMISSIONS OF OTHER

COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES IN HARARE TO PURSUE THIS LINE OF

INQUIRY. END COMMENT.

 

9. (U) ACTING PDAS BELLAMY CLEARED THIS MESSAGE.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(33 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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