Lone judicial voice in runup to Zimbabwe's elections

In Zimbabwe elections on 30 July were followed by violence in which soldiers opened fire on people protesting against what they claimed were “rigged” election results, killing at least six people.  During the months before the elections, however, many court applications tried to ensure broader democracy and a more transparent election process – almost all without success. Read here about the solitary exception in which a judge ordered the ruling party to stop misusing schools and school children for party rallies, only to be overturned on appeal.

OF all the many pre-election cases heard by Zimbabwe’s courts, only one resulted in a judicial decision that broadened and protected democracy. And even in this case, the outcome was overturned on appeal.

The stand-out case was heard by Judge Joseph Martin Mafusire. In Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe v Zanu-PF he was asked for an interim order to prevent school pupils, teachers, school buses and buildings from being used as though they were resources belonging to the ruling party.

‘War against women’ with rise in gender-based torture

A judge in Zimbabwe has slammed fatal domestic violence against women as 'gender-based torture'. Sentencing a man who savagely murdered his partner the judge, Amy Tsanga, said women were 'clobbered, booted, strangled, stabbed or slashed to death' by their partners. Such attacks so often happened in their own bedrooms that these spaces had become 'a deadly environment' for women.

This article is re-published with permission from LegalBrief: Your Legal News Hub by Juta&Co.


War is being waged in the southern African region: against women. That’s the conclusion you could come to from regularly reading court decisions in this part of the continent.


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