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It’s difficult to advise politicians to follow the law: Magaisa on Chamisa

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Mwonzora, Chamisa and Komichi

FORMER political advisor to MDC founding President Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa, has said politicians are difficult to advise when they are going against the constitutions of their political parties.

Magaisa, a professor of law in the UK, made the remarks in light of the Supreme Court judgment which nullified Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the opposition MDC party and also nullified the appointment of both Mr Chamisa and Eng Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents of the party.

In an article “Critical Analysis of the Supreme Court Judgment” which he published at the weekend, Mr Alex Magaisa said Mr Tsvangirai did not heed the advice given after appointing Mr Chamisa and Eng Mudzuri in 2016.

“Technically, it is difficult to fault the finding concerning the 2016 appointments. Questions were raised at the time of the appointments (including in this column) but the advice was not heeded. If supposing that a challenge had been successfully brought to court at the time, there is every chance that a court might have reversed the appointments,” said Mr Magaisa.

He said it was important for the opposition to respect its own constitution.

“Those of us who raised caution in 2016 derive no pleasure at the turn of events. Another lesson is the problem of not challenging leaders when they are wrong,” said Mr Magaisa.

“Any lawyer who has worked in politics or with politicians understands the difficulty of persuading politicians when laws stand in the way of political objectives. Politicians know they must follow the law, but they also know that their stock-in-trade is to make political decisions to drive political objectives.

“Advisers know that politicians must follow the law but they are also sensitive to the realities of political life. Sometimes decisions just have to be made.

“. . . As it has turned out, Tsvangirai’s decision was legally incorrect, as the courts have established, but if he were around today, he would probably still be sure that he took the right political decision. If you ask his many supporters, they also still believe it was the correct political move particularly given the direction that his would-be successors have taken since his death,” said Mr Magaisa.

“. . . Likewise, Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership may have been legally deficient as the courts have stated, but his multitude of supporters remain convinced that it was the right political move.”

Source – ZimVoice

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