Mnangagwa mocks opposition over ban on polls, calls them uneducated
‘Those who claim that I am using the courts to thwart my opponents should go and collect back their school fees from wherever they went to school’
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has issued a disdainful rebuke on those accusing him of masterminding court generated disqualifications on election opponents, describing them as uneducated.
This follows the shock ban on independent presidential candidate Saviour Kasukuwere and 12 CCC Bulawayo parliamentary candidates by the courts this week.
Kasukuwere was Friday disqualified by the Supreme Court which upheld an earlier High Court ruling in favour of Zanu PF activist Lovedale Mangwana.
Mangwana, in his challenge, had argued the exiled politician did not qualify to contest for any electable public office in the land as he surrendered the right through being absent from the country for a continuous period of 18 months.
Kasukuwere, once a close ally to former President Robert Mugabe, was hounded out of the country in November 2017 after the Zimbabwe military which backed Mnangagwa’s succession bid, ousted the now late leader and installed the tough ruler in his place.
CCC candidates were also blocked by the Bulawayo High Court after some Zanu PF activists argued they violated provisions of the electoral law through filing their nomination papers beyond the stipulated deadline of 4pm June this year.
Kasukuwere, the one-time Zanu PF political commissar seen as a potential banana skin in the incumbent’s re-election bid, has blamed Mnangagwa for his ouster.
Equally, CCC has accused the Zimbabwe strongman of capturing the judiciary through a combination of enticing perks comprising hefty home loans and sacking judges viewed inflexible to political manipulation.
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere on Thursday described the current administration as worse than that of Mugabe who “never tried to brazenly remove opponents he knew he would lose against from the ballot”.
Asked to comment on the accusations, Mnangagwa said he has never been to the courts to file any challenge against opponents.
“Those who claim that I am using the courts to thwart my opponents should go and collect back their school fees from wherever they went to school, because I have never taken anyone to court and I am nowhere in any court process.
“If they make such allegations, it shows they don’t have much education,” Mnangagwa said at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport as he returned from Russia.