Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Blow for Chamisa

by Staff reporter
19 Jan 2024 at 08:08hrs | Views
THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) suffered a heavy blow yesterday after the High Court dismissed the opposition party's application to stop by-elections scheduled for February 3.

The by-elections were triggered by the recall of CCC councillors, senators and Members of Parliament (MPs) by the party's self-imposed interim secretary-general, Sengezo Tshabangu, saying they had ceased to be members. Tshabangu said the recalled lawmakers should not contest on the CCC ticket.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudeda, acted on the recalls, resulting in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) initiating electoral processes to fill the vacant seats. The affected CCC members, however, approached the High Court accusing Tshabangu of being an impostor and that he had no right to recall them.

CCC Senator Jameson Timba and his colleagues sought an order declaring that the Speaker of the National Assembly acted out of order.Their application was opposed with Mudenda and Senate president Mabel Chinomona stating that the seats had indeed fallen vacant after they received recall notices from Tshabangu.

Mudenda and Chinomona said the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter because the issue had already been settled after they played their role upon receiving the recall letters.

They also said the applicants had no cause to take action against them as they prayed for the dismissal of the application with costs on a punitive scale.In its submissions, Zec said the applicants should have stopped Mudenda and Chinomona from acting on the recalls before going to the High Court.

Yesterday, High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda ruled in favour of Mudenda and Chinomona after dismissing an application by the CCC challenging the legality of their recall."On that basis I will treat this matter as urgent. There is a dispute of fact pending resolution in the summons case," Kwenda said in his ruling.

"In my view the point made is inconsistent because in the letter written by lawyer Obey Shava (representing recalled CCC members) they notified the Speaker and Senate President that Tshabangu does not represent CCC."I find that an order sought being a final order cannot be granted by this court."

Kwenda added: "In this matter we have a situation where we have CCC on either side of the matter."The party is known by the same name and logo and both are represented by Nelson Chamisa, therefore, the dispute between the entities can only be resolved in the summons matter which is pending before this court."

Kwenda said judgment could not be made before the summons matter was heard."Objection in dispute matter is upheld. This court can competently dismiss this application," the judge said.

"Applicants were reckless in filing this application while aware that this dispute was pending resolution in the summons matter. The application is dismissed with costs."The case was supposed to be heard on Wednesday but was postponed after the CCC sought to be joined to the proceedings.

Last year, Tshabangu stopped some recalled CCC members from participating in by-elections held on December 9.Zanu-PF won seven out of the nine contested seats, including in Bulawayo where the ruling party has played second fiddle to the opposition since 2000.

On Wednesday, a Zanu-PF member, filed an application at the High Court seeking to stop recalled CCC Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya from contesting in the upcoming by-elections.The application was similar to that of Tshabangu where he sought to bar CCC's 23 candidates from contesting pending polls.

In a related case, judgment in a case in which Tshabangu wants recalled CCC members barred from contesting the pending by-elections will be delivered today at 11am.

Source - newsday