HARARE – Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) president Agrippa Mutambara has approached the High Court seeking to quash proceedings in a case in which he is being sued for “illegally” using the party’s name.
The court is yet to make a determination in the application.
“The respondent (ZPF) herein filed a court application seeking a declaratory order in terms of Section 14 of the High Court Act on the 16th of November 2017 in case number HC 10706/17.
“I filed my notice of opposition on the 28th of November 2017 and served on respondent herein on the same date.
“The respondent to date has neither filed an answering affidavit nor set matter down for hearing.
“I am advised by my legal practitioners, which advice I accept, that respondent should have neither filed its answering affidavit or set down the matter within a month after I filed my notice of opposition and opposing affidavit as provided for in terms of Order 32 Rule 236 (3) (b) of the High Court Rules, 1971.
“Respondent has not prosecuted its application and therefore apply for the dismissal of the application in case number HC 10706/17,” Mutambara said.
Mutambara’s application comes after ZPF through Claudius Makova filed an application before the High Court, accusing the former army official of illegally using the party name.
“Sometimes in April 2017, the respondent (Mutambara, in the main application) was appointed to be the interim president of the applicant (ZPF) by applicant’s founding members pending the election of a substantive national executive committee and executive president at an elective congress to be held at a later date,” Makova told the court.
He further said that on October 24, last year, ZPF’s founding leaders met in Harare and resolved that Mutambara’s appointment as the party’s interim leader was to be revoked with immediate effect.
“As we are the founding leaders of the applicant, we have the right to determine the course of the party and the leadership thereof.
“The respondent was informed of the revocation of the appointment by way of a letter signed by the applicant’s (then) secretary-general Kudakwashe Bhasikiti Chuma.
“Despite having been informed of the revocation and demotion to being an ordinary card-carrying member of the applicant, the respondent has continued to masquerade as the applicant’s interim president,” the court heard.
According to Makova, a letter had been written to Mutambara in October last year, demanding him to refrain from using the party name and masquerading as its interim leader.
“Disregarding applicant’s instructions on the 27th of October 2017, the respondent attended a meeting with MDC Alliance, wherein the applicant is an affiliate, misleading and misrepresenting himself as applicant’s president. Respondent has also called meetings and gatherings in applicant’s name, inviting the applicant’s members and affiliates,” Makova told the court.
He also said, due to Mutambara’s behaviour, the party members have been confused on the leadership of the party.
“As a result, the applicant is continuously losing its supporters and will continue to do if respondent is not refrained from his dealings using applicant’s name and materials such as party regalia,” the court heard.