via Court rules in favour of Tsvangirai | The Zimbabwean 27 June 2014 by Sofia Mapuranga
The high court today ruled in favour of MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, and blocked his intended appearance before a disciplinary hearing meant to expel him from his party.
Tsvangirai was recently summoned by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s MDC Renewal Team to appear before a disciplinary committee facing 17 counts of violating the party’s constitution.
In his judgement delivered in his chambers today, High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou, granted an interdict barring the Renewal Team from proceeding with any intended disciplinary hearing against Tsvangirai.
“Pending finalisation of the applicant’s action brought under case HC 4955/14, the respondents and any person claiming through them be and are hereby interdicted from implementing any resolution of the meeting held by the respondents at Mandel training centre on April 26 2014,” said Justice Zhou.
“Any proceedings that may have been instituted against any office bearers of the second applicant pursuant of the resolutions of the meeting afore said be and are hereby stayed until finalisation of case no HC 4955/14.”
Justice Zhou said because the respondents had not filed opposing papers, “the effect of that is that the factual averments contained in the founding affidavit are unchallenged”.
“Professor Lovemore Madhuku for the respondents acknowledged that position and submitted that reliance will be placed on the legal issues to oppose the application,” said Justice Zhou.
Tsvangirai yesterday filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to stop his supposed disciplinary hearing slated for today.
He is accused of contravening “sections of article 2.1 of the disciplinary code of conduct and regulations” as stated in MDC-T’s constitution and failure to provide competent leadership and acting in a manner detrimental to party objectives.
Biti and his lieutenants suspended Tsvangirai and five other MDC-T officials in March, accusing them of violating the party constitution and using violence as a political tool.
The Tsvangirai faction hit back and expelled Biti, Mangoma and others who endorsed his suspension.
The party’s national chairman, Lovemore Moyo was also summoned to attend the same disciplinary hearing on charges including alleged failure to conduct free and fair primary elections before last year’s harmonised polls.
In his urgent chamber application filed yesterday by Mwonzora and Associates, the MDC-T – through Thamsanqa Mahlangu and Moyo sought an order barring the Renewal Team from implementing the resolution of the Mandel Training Centre meeting of April 26 this year.
The Tsvangirai faction listed Biti, the party’s former deputy treasurer, Elton Mangoma, former minister of water, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and MDC’ s guardian council member, Sekai Holland as respondents.
Speaking to journalists after the ruling, MDC-T’s spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the judgement was fair considering that the Mandel meeting was null and void and dragging their party president was an embarrassment on his persona.
“How can another opposition party drag the president of another political party before their dubious hearing? It was illegal and unfair and the court’s ruling has demonstrated that and has proven that we are right,” Mwonzora said.
Mwonzora said the disciplinary hearing ‘before Biti’s kangaroo court’ was meant to embarrass Tsvangirai.
“The invitation that was sent to president Tsvangirai does not contain the names of people who constitute the tribunal and it does not also state the venue; it simply says Mandel Training Centre,” said Mwonzora.
He said because the summons of the purported disciplinary hearing did not contain the time that Tsvangirai was supposed to go for the hearing, it was meant for other purposes other than legal purposes.