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Court case to suspend Zifa polls lodged

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2018 at 05:24hrs | Views
LOSING Zifa Southern Region chairmanship candidate, Musa Mandaza, yesterday filed an urgent High Court chamber application in Bulawayo seeking the suspension of Zifa national elections set for December 1 until his appeal is heard.

Filed under case number 3077/18, Mandaza, through his lawyer Gary Sengweni of Shenje and Company, cited the Zifa electoral committee as the first respondent, Zifa as the second respondent and Andrew Tapela, who was declared Southern Region chairman, as the third respondent.

If the December 1 elections go ahead, Mandaza wants the results to be declared a nullity.

According to Mandaza's founding affidavit, he noted an appeal against Zifa Southern Region elections held on October 14, 2018, in Bulawayo where he was a candidate for board chairman against the third respondent.

The first respondent is the Zifa electoral committee, which was set up by the second respondent to run the elections and it's a body with the capacity to sue and be sued at law.

"This is an urgent application to stop the Zifa board elections set for 1st December 2018 and also set aside the whole elections and results of the 14th October 2018 and directing that fresh elections be held within 10 days of the Appeals Committee ruling.

"The grounds of bringing this matter on an urgent basis are my status is not yet known since appeal is not yet heard; my notice of appeal was filed on the 7th of October 2018 and it was not even acknowledged or deliberated on. I again wrote another follow up letter and again it was ignored. Basically, the respondents do not want to hear my appeal and want to go ahead with the elections on 1 December 2018. The respondents are deliberately ignoring my appeal clearly infringing my constitutional right to be heard and also infringing their own constitution and electoral code which allows an aggrieved person to appeal," argued Mandaza.

He said he had utilised all football channels, including the Sports and Recreation Commission, but nothing had been done, which has left him with no choice but to approach the court on an urgent basis.

"The second respondent has been heard in the media bragging that I will do nothing and have nowhere to go, as if they don't know that I have constitutional rights which will be protected by the honourable court. I have been in football for a long time and have paid $950 to contest the elections in a free and fair way such that my rights cannot be just washed away like that.

"I have the following reasons to put forward as to why it has taken this type of (football) matter to court. The conduct of the respondents for not even acknowledging receipt of the notice of appeal clearly shows arrogance and that they do not want to hear the appeal and want to pretend as if everything is normal. I have exhausted all the available football channels and this honourable court is the only place left for me, for my rights to be protected.

"Also I have no other alternative remedy than to approach the honourable court on an urgent basis as the first and second respondents are manifestly bent on forging ahead with their 'dictatorship' principles," argued Mandaza.

It is Mandaza's prayer that the Zifa national elections for board members, president and vice-president scheduled for December 1, 2018, be and hereby suspended pending the finalisation of his appeal.

Zifa has 12 days to lodge opposing affidavits failure of which the matter will be set down at the Bulawayo High Court without further notice. The case was allocated to Justice Mabhikwa. When Mandaza's appeal was thrown out, Zifa said Mandaza had not paid the required $3 000 appeal fee as stated in the Zifa statutes.

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Source - chronicle