CARMEL RICKARD: Zimbabwe’s wall of silence
A lack of written judgments in Zimbabwean courts has serious implications for accountability and the protection of citizens’ constitutional rights
In the month before Zimbabwe’s 2018 election, legal practitioner and academic Justice Mavedzenge brought an urgent application. His visually impaired client asked the court to protect his right to a secret vote by ordering that Braille ballot papers should be made available.
The presiding judge dismissed the case out of hand. With elections pending, urgency was obvious. To this day, however, no reasons have been given for the decision. Without a written judgment, no appeal has been possible and the important constitutional question raised by Mavedzenge’s client remains in legal limbo...