Mnangagwa Zanu-PF's presidency challenged in court

Mnangagwa Zanu-PF's presidency challenged in court
           Sybeth Chomusora Musengezi
Zanu-PF youth member, Sybeth Musengezi has approached the Bulawayo High Court seeking the nullification of Zanu-PF’s 19 November 2017 special session of the Central Committee meeting, which elected, Emmerson Mnangagwa as the incumbent president.

According to the court application filed Wednesday, Musengezi through his lawyer Nqobani Sithole cited Zanu-PF as the first respondent and Mnangagwa as the second respondent.

The other respondents are; party’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, acting political commissar Patrick Chinamasa, former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko, ex-finance secretary Ignatius Chombo.

“This a court application in terms of Section 14 of the High Court Act, Chapter 7:06 for declaratory orders and consequential relief in the following terms, a declaratur that the special session of the Central Committee of the 1st respondent (Zanu-PF) convened on the 19th of November 2017 at the party’s headquarters in Harare from 10: 00 to 16:00 hours was ultra-vires the provisions of the Constitution of the 1st respondent and, therefore, unlawful and null and void” Musengezi argues.

After the 19 November 2017 Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting, the now late President Robert Mugabe was forced to resign immediately as the party and Zimbabwe’s president and was replaced by Mnangagwa.

However, Musengezi argues the meeting was illegal and invalid and should be set aside.

“A declaratur that all the resolutions of the special session of the Central  Committee of the 1st respondent passed at the unlawful meeting concerned on the 19th of November 2017 are unlawful, invalid and accordingly set aside,” reads part of the High Court application seen by NewZimbabwe.com.

Musengezi is also praying for an order directing  Mphoko, in his capacity as the lawful Vice President and Second Secretary of the 1st respondent, to convene and preside over a special Extraordinary Congress of Zanu-PF.

He added the proposed congress would regularise the top leadership positions in Zanu-PF.

Musengezi argued Mnangagwa is unlawfully occupying the position.

“The position of the President and First Secretary of the party was occupied by his Excellency Robert Mugabe, who was also the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

“Out of the two positions of Vice President and Second Secretary of the party only one such position was occupied by Phelekezela Mphoko, the 5th respondent herein.

“The other position of Vice President and Second Secretary of the party was vacant after the 2nd respondent (Mnangagwa) was relieved of his duties as one of the two vice presidents of the country under the Constitution of Zimbabwe on the 6th of November 2017.

“Following his removal from the position of Vice President of the country,  the second respondent for reasons I never understand decided to flee the country.”

Musengezi said at the time of his removal, Mugabe was not incapacitated to preside over a lawful convened session of the Central Committee in terms of Article 7 Section 38 of the party’s Constitution.

“He was at all material times seized with the internal affairs of the party in his engagement with the commanders of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces as evidenced by the subject of his televised speech on the evening of the 19th of November 2017 at the end of which he bid the whole country a good night with the famed Asante Sana remark.

“The Vice President and Second Secretary of the party Phelekezela Mphoko was not incapacitated at all to preside over a lawfully convened session of the Central Committee in terms of Article 7 section 38 of the party’s constitution, in the event that the President and First Secretary of the party was absent.

“It is, therefore, clear that the pretext of alleged incapacitation of the top leadership of the party given by those who attended the unlawful and unconstitutional special session of the Central Committee meeting convened on the 19th of November 2017 is deliberately false and misleading.”

Musengezi said the conduct of Central Committee members that attended the purported special session and elected Mpofu to preside over the meeting was null and void.

“The 3rd respondent was at the material time the secretary for finance and the functions and responsibilities of that position are spelt out in Article 9 Section 49 of the party’s Constitution.

“He had no authority whatsoever to convene or preside over a session of the Central Committee and there is no provision in the party’s constitution, which empowers members of the party’s Central Committee to elect a member of their own choosing to preside over a session of the Central Committee of the 1st respondent.

All the respondents are yet to file their opposing papers.