War veterans block elections

Source: War veterans block elections | The Herald August 5, 2016

Fidelis Munyoro : Chief Court Reporter

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) has obtained a court order to stop a war veterans’ splinter group from convening a special meeting to elect the association’s new leadership. Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene is leading the splinter group, as its interim chairperson.The group is expected to convene a special meeting soon to elect new leadership of the ZNLWVA.

This comes after President Mugabe recommended that they hold a meeting to elect new leadership, if they so wish.

President Mugabe made the remarks while addressing war veterans, members of the women’s and youth leagues, gathered at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare recently to express their solidarity with the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

In an urgent application heard before Justice Joseph Musakwa in the High Court yesterday, 13 members of the splinter group were listed as respondents.

After hearing arguments from both parties, the judge reaffirmed the court’s previous decision that the Chimene-led splinter group has no mandate to act on behalf of the recognised association.

He granted an interim order blocking the holding of the meeting to elect a new leadership of the ZNLWVA.

“Pending the finalisation of this matter, respondents be and are hereby ordered not to interfere with the applicant’s (ZNLWVA) activities or give Press conferences with regard to applicant and its leadership,” said Justice Musakwa.

“Respondents and any other persons acting through them are hereby interdicted from holding themselves out as the interim or substantive leaders of the applicant.

“Respondents and any other persons are ordered to restore access and possession of the applicant provincial offices in Manicaland province and Midlands province forthwith from the service of this order upon them.

“Respondents and all other persons acting through them are interdicted from calling any election within the association or affecting the administration of the applicant.”

The order was granted against Cdes George Mlala, Charles Mpofu, Joseph Chinotimba, Esther Munyaradzi, Stephen Moyo and Robert Mukwena.

Justice Musakwa, however, deferred the matter to August 10 for further hearing and determination of the application in respect of the other seven — Cdes George Matenda, Patrick Nyaruwata, Future Piriyana, Wellington Chitehwe, Rueben Chikono, Thomas Matambe and Thomas Kunaka.

The call for new leadership in the ZNLWVA follows alleged vote of no confidence on the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive.

Mutsvangwa was consequently expelled from Zanu-PF after he was convicted of conduct that showed disrespect of the party leadership.

In their argument, the splinter group that was not legally represented, argued that the Mutsvangwa executive was removed by a vote of no-confidence.

But ZNLWVA lawyer Mr Rungano Mahuni of Mahuni, Gidiri Law Chambers, argued that the constitution of the association does not provide for the removal of its leaders by a vote of no confidence.

Mr Mahuni also told the court that the Chimene-led faction cannot purport to act on behalf of the association in the absence of an election to bring them into the leadership of the association.

The Zanu-PF Politburo this week resolved to expel ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, national commissar Francis Nhando and deputy chairperson Headman Moyo.

The quartet appeared in court this week facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected Government. They are all out on $300 bail each.

They were arrested in connection with a damning communiqué last month that called on President Mugabe to resign.