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Tshabangu and Chamisa battle over CCC party offices, court reserves judgement

by Staff reporter
09 Mar 2024 at 10:39hrs | Views
The Bulawayo High Court has reserved judgement in a case involving the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Sengezo Tshabangu posing as its Interim Secretary General seeking spoliation damages from Nelson Chamisa.

Tshabangu is suing Chamisa after the party's offices were repainted from yellow to blue by youths allegedly aligned with the former CCC leader.

The blue colour apparently indicates a new political movement spearheaded by former CCC members Gift Ostallos Siziba and Moses Chibaya, who claim Chamisa would lead.

The party office, named the Gertrude Mthombeni House, is situated at Number 41 Fort Street between Second and Third Avenue in Bulawayo.

In its application, CCC stated that its office is where all provincial party documents are kept and party activities and programs are conducted.

They noted that Chamisa's supporters forcibly took "control, occupation and possession" of the building and painted the whole offices and precast wall, which was "unlawful, prejudicial and amounts to spoliation."

This case was heard on Thursday before Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice David Mangota, with Tshabangu represented by Nqobani Sithole and Chamisa represented by Obey Shava.

In his founding affidavit that accompanied CCC's application, Tshabangu said following Chamisa's resignation, there was an expectation to have been a "smooth handover takeover process" and such was being undertaken.'

However, Tshabangu said a group of "unknown people" about 25 to 30 people comprising both male and female, "besieged the CCC Bulawayo provincial offices claiming to have been sent by and furthering the interest of (Chamisa), forcibly took occupation, control and possession of the CCC offices."

Tshabangu claimed the "unknown people" made it clear that they were sent by Chamisa and put up his portrait on top of the gate.

"Further structural renovations and improvements were made to the gate on the doors, ceiling floors and windows. All this was done through force and without the (CCC)'s consent, which was in peaceful and undisturbed occupation possession and control of its premises," read Tshabangu's affidavit.

On the other hand, Chamisa, in his opposing affidavit, reiterated that he is not currently part of any political organisation, claiming his image and name have been misappropriated by many people who have no connection to him.

"In fact, the irony of the application is that since I resigned as the leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change, the Applicant and the deponent to the founding affidavit have continued to use my face on their preferred logo. I wish to reiterate that I have no current special association with any colour, any political organisation, or any movement," said the former CCC leader.

Chamisa stated in his affidavit that he had "absolutely" nothing to do with the takeover of the offices.

"I deny all of the allegations of fact and conclusions of law made in this application in their entirety. I did not despoil any person of any premises or offices anywhere in Zimbabwe, and I have certainly not done so in Bulawayo. I have a set of offices which are located in Harare. I am presently not affiliated with any movement, grouping, or political party," said the former CCC leader.

"I did not direct, require, or encourage anyone to take over the premises which are referred to by the deponent to the founding affidavit as attributed to me. I resigned as the leader of the Applicant, and since that resignation, I have not been to Bulawayo physically. I completely have nothing to do with the Applicant."

Chamisa said that if Tshabangu, as the applicant, knew the people who had repainted the CCC party premises, he should sue them.

"If there is anyone in occupation, the deponent to the founding affidavit knows who they are, and that it's not me. The Applicant must sue those people, if they exist, instead of harassing me," he said.

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