The Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has been dragged to court following his refusal to issue a passport to a freelance journalist and former presenter at United Kingdom’s SW Radio Africa Violet Gonda.
Mudede’s office blacklisted Gonda during the former President Robert Mugabe era.
Gonda professed ignorance on the reasons behind her name being on the Stop List saying she has not committed any crime and therefore her constitutional rights should not be violated charging that the alleged wrong doing is associated with her past having worked at an independent radio station which was critical of Mugabe.
“I have not committed any crime, and I want my name be removed from that Stop List.”
Speaking to 263Chat today, Gonda’s lawyer Denford Halimani said the application seeks to compel the Registrar”s office to issue Gonda with a passport as well as removing her name from the Stop List.
Halimani revealed that Mudede’s lawyers contacted his office yesterday confirming concession to the matter but they are yet to make formal written letter.
“Basically we have applied to court to get an order compelling the Registrar General to issue Violet with a Zimbabwean passport. Violet Gonda had been denied a Zimbabwean passport when she tried to get it in August on the pretext that she was on the Stop List which was in the computer system of the registrar general.
“We also want the court to declare the conduct of Registrar General and together with the minister of home affairs to be unconstitutional and violative of various sections of the constitution,” Hlamani said.
In her founding affidavit, the applicant cited Registrar General as the first respondent while the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage has been cited as the second respondent.
Other civic society groups and opposition party aligned activist have also raised concern with the conduct of the Registrar General with some quick to say it represents no change to Mugabe’s style of governance.
United Kingdom based lecturer and former advisor to the former late Premier Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa said the Stop List explains that the government has put its own citizens under sanctions and that the Registrar’s gesture as unconstitutional.
“The same government regularly rails against targeted sanctions. Yet it appears it has its own set of targeted sanctions against its own citizens. The old dispensation had self-defeating policies. The current one is still shooting itself in the foot,” Magaisa posted on his micro blog twitter today.
Self exiled former cabinet Professor Jonathan Moyo threw a jibe at the government saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new dispensation gospel does not hold water.
“If Mudede defies my order to issue the passport forthwith, there’ll be dire consequences, as that would be a violation of the new Constitution and proof that Mnangagwa’s claims of a new dispensation and a second republic are hogwash as Zimbabwe is in the throes of the First Republic.” he said.