Judge dismisses Gukurahundi case as fanciful, unjustified Jeffrey Muvundusi
HIGH Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese has thrown away an application by local activists who had sought an interdict barring President Emmerson Mnangagwa from conducting exhumation and reburials of victims of Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s.
The applicants, who included Gukurahundi survivor Charles Thomas, Zapu and Ibhetshu LikaZulu, recently filed an urgent High Court application to stop the government from undertaking exhumations and re-burials of
the 1980s post-independence political disturbances.
In his ruling at the weekend, Justice Makonese said the activists were merely trying to slander the country’s first citizen since there was no evidence of the government ever announcing that it will conduct Gukurahundi exhumations and re-burials as alleged by the activists.
The litigants, who had cited the State media as their source of information, were berated by Makonese for failing to verify the mediareports before approaching the courts.
“Before concluding, I need to point out that it is not only presumptuous to allege that president Mnangagwa sought to conduct unlawful exhumations. The suggestion by the applicants is fanciful, scurrilous and unjustified,” he said.
Makonese said the litigants should have exhausted other remedies such as engaging the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) before approaching the courts.
“One wonders why the first applicant (Charles Thomas) chose to file this urgent application before engaging the 6th respondent (NPRC) when he was well aware of the legal remedies available in the Constitution.
“There is a need to exhaust domestic remedies as provided in Section 252 (f) of the Constitution. There is, therefore, no need to determine the matter on merits. The preliminary objection is upheld.
Accordingly, and in the result, the application is dismissed with costs,” Makonese said.
Mnangagwa and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, who were represented by the attorney generals’ lawyers, were cited as the first and second respondents.
Matabeleland Collective, Jenni Williams, the leader of Matabeleland Collective, NPRC chairperson Sello Nare and the NPRC were cited as the third, fourth, fifth and sixth respondents respectively.