- Proven he lacks residency, cannot legally be candidate
Self-exiled presidential hopeful Saviour Kasukuwere’s dream of returning to challenge for power has been destroyed after a court ruled him ineligible to run in Zimbabwe’s elections.
The controversial politician, who fled the country in 2017, filed his nomination papers on June 21 to contest the August 23 polls.
But in a crushing blow, High Court Judge David Mangota invalidated Kasukuwere’s nomination at the request of voter Lovedale Mangwana – who argued Kasukuwere failed to meet the legal requirement of ordinarily residing in Zimbabwe for 18 months.
Mangwana said Kasukuwere – an ally of late former president Robert Mugabe – had been out of the country for more than 18 consecutive months and ceased to be a registered voter, citing the Constitution and Electoral Act.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi reportedly did little to oppose Mangwana’s bombshell application.
However, Kasukuwere’s arrogant lawyers hit back, claiming the court had no jurisdiction and Mangwana lacked “locus standi”.
They denied Kasukuwere had been out of Zimbabwe that long, insisting he only left on a “temporary medical jaunt”.
Kasukuwere countered that he was on the voter roll, with ZEC verifying his address. His name had been gazetted among election candidates, his smug lawyers boasted.
But Justice Mangota ruled Mangwana had proven his case, granting the order sought to stop Kasukuwere’s shameless power grab.
The judge tore apart Kasukuwere’s argument that appearing on the gazetted list rendered the case invalid, stating “nothing binds on this aspect of the case”.
Kasukuwere’s delusional dream of returning to the halls of power after comfortably living in exile has now been smashed in a legal hammer-blow.