Govt defends Makarau's positions
Government has defended Justice Rita Makarau’s positions as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chair, Supreme Court judge and secretary for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Responding to Midlands MDC-T Senator Lilian Timveos who had said Justice Makarau’s roles were in conflict and there might be a challenge in the event of a disputed election, Justice Minister Retired Major-General Happyton Bonyongwe said that Makarau’s appointment was Constitutional. He said that no conflict of interest would arise in the event of a court application challenging election results. Said Bonyongwe:
If elections were to be contested in court, there is only one role which Justice Makarau will play. She will be a litigant. Since the coming into force of the 2013 Constitution and the appointment of Justice Makarau as head of ZEC in the same year, numerous election petitions and challenges have been filed in the Magistrates’ Courts, High Court, Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. The issue of Justice Makarau being Secretary of the JSC and head of ZEC has not interfered with the decisional independence of judicial officers seized with such matters and neither have appointments of contact or conflict been created.