BINGA North MDC-T MP, Prince Dubeko Sibanda has lost a case against the area’s rural district council chief executive officer, Joshua Muzamba, whom he wanted fired from the local authority’s top post because he was a Zanu PF central committee member.
Source: Binga MP loses court case against Zanu PF council boss – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 14, 2016
BY SILAS NKALA
Sibanda had approached the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order to have Muzamba discharged from council duties, arguing that it was unconstitutional for him to continue to serve as a public officer because he was a Zanu PF member.
But Muzamba, through his lawyer, Christopher Dube-Banda, challenged the application, saying Sibanda should have also sued the RDC chairperson and Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage minister Abednico Ncube.
Judge, Justice Martin Makonese last Thursday ruled that Muzamba’s continued holding of a public office, while at the same time being a Zanu PF central committee member was not against the Constitution.
“The court must conclude that all factual allegations made by first respondent have not been denied, but have been admitted. Applicant attempts to meet these facts in the heads of argument. This approach is not desirable and has been rejected by this court,” ruled Justice Makonese.
“The facts presented in the papers show that the first respondent is an officer of the second respondent (council).
Section 65 of the RDC Act defines employee as a person other than an officer, who is employed by council and officer means the CEO, treasurer, engineer, medical officer of health or any other head of department employed by council.”
Makonese said Muzamba is an officer not an employee of council.
“The question is whether the first respondent is an employee, which clearly he is not,” Makonese ruled.
“The first respondent is clearly not holding a political office in the central committee. The persons, who make up the central committee are not officers but are members.”
He said individual central committee members cannot enjoy powers and they have no office. Makonese ruled that only members of the Zanu PF politburo are considered as officers.
“It is my view that the interpretation of section 266(3) of the Constitution must be grounded in the text itself and the text must set the limits of interpretation. By this interpretation, first respondent is not an office bearer in Zanu PF and accordingly the application to impeach his position as CEO must fail.
“I am satisfied that the applicant has failed to establish that first respondent’s employment as CEO does not fall foul of the provisions of section 266(3) of the Constitution,” Makonese ruled.
“I accordingly conclude that a case has not been made for the relief sought by the applicant. The application be and is hereby dismissed. The applicant is ordered to bear the costs of suit.”