- Last Updated on 14 March 2013
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The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe unanimously dismissed the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) appeal seeking to validate the argument that citizens have a right to question the President's actions in a court of law. The ruling was handed down on Wednesday, March 13 in Harare by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
NCA Chairperson Prof.L.Madhuku and Spokesperson M.Chivasa leaving the supreme court)
In the ruling the Chief Justice Chidyausiku sitting with five other Supreme Court judges indicated that the Bench unanimously agreed that the time set out by the President was adequate.
In a statement released by the NCA, the Constitutional reform advocacy body lamented the judgement passed by the Supreme Court.
"We are utterly dismayed that the Supreme Court dismissed part of our appeal seeking an extension of the referendum date to at least two months €, read the NCA statement.
The NCA reiterated that all efforts would now be put on mobilising Zimbabweans to 'vote no' at the referendum penciled for March 16.
"We remain unshaken by this ruling and we are working flat out in the remaining two days to mobilise as many Zimbabweans as possible to come out in their numbers and vote no in the referendum €, said the NCA.
On March 1, 2013, Judge President, George Chiweshe, dismissed the National Constitutional Assembly's urgent High Court application for a postponement of a referendum on a draft people's charter.
Chiweshe argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to review the date for the referendum as that power rested with the President, who recently declared 16 March as the date for the plebiscite, in accordance with the Referendums Act.
The NCA had cited President Robert Mugabe as the first respondent in its application where it said the 16 March date was too close for the electorate to adequately familiarise itself with its contents.
The Supreme Court judgement finally brought to an end the legal battle pitting the NCA against the President of Zimbabwe over the setting of a referendum date. The ruling paves way for the imminent holding of historic constitution referendum on Saturday, March 16 in Zimbabwe.