BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A ZANU PF member challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s appointment as leader after the November 2017 military coup yesterday accused ruling party officials of misleading the court by withholding vital information.
Musengezi filed papers at the High Court in October seeking a ruling declaring null and void a November 19, 2017 Zanu PF central committee meeting that saw Mnangagwa become acting party president.
The late Robert Mugabe was forced to resign as party president after that meeting.
He also resigned as Zimbabwe President after the ruling Zanu PF party and then opposition MDC Alliance coalesced and initiated an impeachment process.
Musengezi submitted his heads of argument at the High Court yesterday, where he accused the respondents of misleading the court to get a favourable judgment.
“The above critical information in relation to the whereabouts and alleged incapacitation of … Mugabe and the alleged absence of the Vice-President and second secretary (Phelekezela Mphoko) has been also withheld, it is submitted, purposely withheld so as to mislead the court,” he claimed in his heads of argument.
“This fully applies to the respondents’ case, in that as on the 19th November 2017, Mugabe was, as a notorious fact, at State House, Harare, and locked up in talks with the military heads after the military had registered its presence on the streets of Harare …”
Zanu PF, Mnangagwa, Mpofu, Zanu PF finance secretary Patrick Chinamasa, Mphoko and ex-Zanu PF finance secretary Ignatius Chombo are the respondents in the case.
Musengezi is represented by Nqobani Sithole.
Musengezi repeated his allegation that the central committee that ushered in Mnangagwa as acting party leader was null and void.
“The controversy of an illegal act, which act was and is still invalid, has not been terminated. The illegality still stands until it is pronounced as such by a competent court,” he said.
Musengezi last month accused the police of intimidating him to drop the court challenge.
In opposing papers filed on November 5, Mpofu argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case, adding that Mnangagwa enjoyed presidential immunity. He also argued that Musengezi was not a Zanu PF member, contrary to his claims.
This is despite the fact that Musengezi won the Zanu PF primary elections for Harare North constituency ahead of the 2018 polls and lost to the MDC Alliance’s Allan Markham in the July 31 general elections.