National Constitutional Assembly leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku has torched a storm with statements that confined lawmaker Job Sikhala’s bail could have been negotiated through dialogue.
Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole have spent more than 80 days in prison after they were arrested mid-June this year on allegations of inciting violence following the gruesome murder of Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime and have been denied bail.
Speaking to a local publication, Prof. Madhuku said Sikhala’s bail could have been discussed through a dialogue adding that they are victims of their political party.
“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,” Prof Madhuku said.
Posting on twitter, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the Constitution is supreme over politicians.
“It would set a dangerous precedent if the right to bail for CCC members became a political question as opposed to a constitutional one. CCC members should be granted bail per the Constitution like Wadyajena did. It can’t depend on negotiating with ED or holding a mass protest. Whether or not you like the CCC, don’t weaponize the law against opponents or gamble with Constitutional rights as a bargaining chip. That’s not the way of constitutionalism. Values matter.
“Constitutionally, the judiciary is independent. Their high offices must be respected. Politicians have no right to interfere with the work of judicial officers. For any person to suggest that this is what should happen is regrettable & offensive to constitutional democracy. 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,” said Mahere
Harare East legislator Tendai Biti added “Lovemore Madhuku s remarks are shocking and regrettable. They are so outrageous in their defiance of logic .They however confirm the capture of and weaponization of the law in Zimbabwe A sad indictment of the regime.”