Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has lost a Supreme Court appeal challenging Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s move to sue him over his unilateral appointment of provincial governors in violation of the Global Political Agreement.
Mr. Mugabe’s lawyers had argued that the president could not be sued. The judgment now paves the way for a full hearing of the matter.
Tsvangirai filed a lawsuit last November seeking the annulment of the president’s unilateral appointment of 10 provincial governors which he said violated the constitution.
He even took the dispute to the international arena, sending letters to the United Nations and the European Union asking them not to recognize six ambassadors that he said Mr. Mugabe had appointed without consulting him.
Lawyer and MDC-T National Executive member Luta Shaba told VOA that the ruling is significant.
Recently, the Supreme Court rejected Mugabe's appeal against a High Court judgment ordering him to gazette by-election dates for three constituencies in Matabeleland province.
Elsewhere, the prime minister, on a three-nation tour of the Far East, says president Mugabe is ready to give up power if he loses the next election.
Mr. Tsvangirai made the remarks in New Zealand after meeting his counterpart John Key in Wellington Wednesday.
He blamed some senior military officers for orchestrating the violence that led him to pull out of the 2008 presidential election run-off, paving the way for the formation of the government of national unity.
Tsvangirai said he’s confident Zimbabwe will hold free and fair elections within the next 12 months.
Some senior army chiefs have publicly vowed to prevent the MDC-T leader from taking over from Mr. Mugabe if he wins the elections. Mr. Tsvangirai said only a few elements in the army do not want change.
He pressed for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Mugabe and members of his inner circle in 2002, arguing the sanctions ''are no longer making an impact'' and that it is ''very important'' that they are lifted.
Mr. Key told reporters that Mr. Tsvangirai made a ''compelling case'', adding he would discuss the sanctions issue with foreign minister Murray McCully. Mr. Tsvangirai has also visited Japan and New Zealand.
Independent political analyst Gladys Hlatwayo told VOA that Tsvangirai’s remarks are shocking as Mr. Mugabe has demonstrated in the past that he does not believe in the peaceful transfer of power.