National Constitutional Assembly president Professor Lovemore Madhuku says incarcerated opposition legislators Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole are victims of the failure by their party to engage with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
In an interview with a local news outlet, Prof Madhuku said Sikhala’s issue could have been dealt with through a dialogue.
“The remedy there has always been clear. The positions that you have seen, the Nyatsime 16 as you put that out, and the issues you’ve raised about Job Sikhala, I think this could have been resolved by a dialogue process. They’re now victims of their own political party that refuses to dialogue that refused to be part of POLAD.
“I think that if there were issues to do with the perception which is strongly coming out that this is political perception, what would stop the party to which they belong from having an audience with the president? The role of the president there is not to interfere with the courts but it would be to engage with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)… The NPA is the one who would consent to bail, make arrangements for an early trial and so on. Every political leader ought to know that these issues are political… Job Sikhala, Sithole and Nyatsime people are now victims of the failure by their party to know that Politics is about engagement.
“Politics is not always about fighting and if they had good leadership in that party they would be out by now. If you make it a political issue, you engage other political players,” said Prof. Madhuku
Posting on Twitter, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere played down Madhuku’s assertions saying the Constitution is supreme over politicians.
“So we are supposed to humble ourselves and beg ED for citizens to be released, then ED calls the judges & tells them to grant bail? Is that how it works?
“The Constitution is supreme – over politicians, over personal opinions and over our like or dislike of any person. In the new Zimbabwe, constitutional rights will be respected even as against our political opponents or unpopular litigants. That’s the essence of the rule of law.
“Ask people who have left the regime. They will tell you that it’s integral for every person to have equal protection of the law, even when they’re not in favour with political elites. The right to equal protection of the law despite your political affiliation is sacrosanct,” said Mahere