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Sengezo Tshabangu attaches proof of appointment

by Staff reporter
22 Oct 2023 at 15:16hrs | Views
Sengezo Tshabangu, who identifies himself as the Interim Secretary of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has strongly criticized a court appeal lodged by CCC Members of Parliament (MPs) who are contesting their recall. He argues that their request lacks effectiveness because it fails to specify the political party they represent.

In his defence, Tshabangu, claims that he was "appointed along with others as a designated officer, and attaches documentation as 'Annexure ST2' to show that.

It's worth noting that the CCC party is not a party in the legal proceedings; it's neither an applicant nor a respondent in the application filed by 14 of the recalled MPs who challenged their recalls in the High Court. The respondents in this case are Tshabangu, the Speaker of the National Assembly (Jacob Mudenda), and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Tshabangu has already recalled 15 MPs, nine senators, and 17 councillors. He asserts that since the recalled MPs' application suggests he is an imposter, they should have included the CCC political party or at least cited it as a co-applicant. He contends that the failure to cite the party responsible for the recall makes the application invalid and should be dismissed, as he argued in his notice of opposition.

Tshabangu argues that the recalled MPs are essentially trying to challenge the Speaker's decision to recall them, which, according to him, cannot be reviewed under the law. He also notes that the MPs alleged he is not a CCC member but failed to provide any evidence to support this claim or to demonstrate their own membership status.

He points out that they didn't attach relevant documents like the party's constitution, membership cards, membership registers, or any explanation for their absence. Without this evidence, he argues that the recalled MPs fail to prove their case, and their dispute becomes a matter of conflicting facts that cannot be resolved from the submitted papers.

Tshabangu maintains that he was appointed as a designated officer, providing documentation as evidence, and dismisses the letters allegedly authored by CCC President Nelson Chamisa as hearsay evidence and inadmissible affidavits. He emphasizes that the CCC is not part of these proceedings and hasn't been cited as a respondent, so it cannot challenge his authority to issue recall letters.

According to Tshabangu, the relief sought by the recalled MPs is incompetent as it fails to challenge the actions of the party itself, and he argues that only the party has the authority to recall, as specified in Section 129(k).

He also contests the urgency of the matter, stating that there is nothing urgent about it and that the filling of vacancies is a process regulated by law.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's Chief Elections Officer, Utoile Silaigwana, responded by highlighting that the MPs did not cite President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who proclaims election dates, as their role is to follow the law.

However, the CCC claimed that the proclamation of election dates while the recalls are under dispute indicates President Mnangagwa's involvement in the recalls. They expressed concerns about a constitutional and political crisis in Zimbabwe and vowed to explore all available solutions to address the situation.

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