By Tichaona Sibanda
1 March 2013
On Friday the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) lodged a Supreme Court appeal against the High Court ruling dismissing their application to postpone the date for the referendum.
The NCA, led by Professor Lovemore Madhuku, are contesting the decision by President Robert Mugabe to set the referendum date for March 16th arguing that it is too soon and denies citizens the time to study the draft Constitution.
In their High Court application the NCA had argued that Mugabe acted ‘arbitrarily, irrationally and grossly unreasonably.’
But on Thursday Judge President George Chiweshe dismissed the application, ruling that the President had the power to set the referendum date and that no court of law could review or scrutinise his decision. Chiweshe is the same judge who delayed the results of the 2008 presidential election.
NCA spokesman Blessing Vava confirmed to SW Radio Africa that their lawyers had successfully filed the appeal to the Supreme Court. The constitutional pressure group is seeking an extension of at least two months for the date of the referendum.
Vava said they strongly feel that Zimbabweans should be given adequate time to scrutinise the draft constitution and be allowed to make an informed decision on what they will be voting for.
The group argues that the move to have the referendum in just two weeks time is a ploy by the parties in government to deny Zimbabweans a chance to scrutinise the flawed and undemocratic draft which they authored.