via Axed minister in court victory against Mugabe – New Zimbabwe 25/06/2015
THE Constitutional Court on Thursday barred President Robert Mugabe from declaring Mwenezi East constituency vacant following the expulsion of MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti from Zanu PF.
The full Constitutional Court bench agreed with Bhasikiti that Mugabe should be stopped from declaring the seat vacant until the High Court finalises a case in which he is challenging his expulsion from the ruling party.
Represented by MDC-Renewal Team’s Tendai Biti, the former Masvingo provincial state minister recently filed an urgent chamber application seeking to bar Mugabe from calling for by-election in his constituency.
Bhasikiti lost his position in government and was recalled from Parliament as the brutal infighting rocking the ruling party turned ugly.
The ConCourt ordered the High Court and the Supreme Court, if need be, to resolve the Bhasikiti matter by July 31 this year “to enable the sitting of a nomination court within the prescribed constitutional period in the event of a proclamation of the election date by President Mugabe”.
“The by-election for Mwenezi East should not be held before the resolution of the dispute on the legality or otherwise of the expulsion of the applicant from the 2nd respondent (Zanu PF) pending finalisation of case number HC5285/15, which matter including any appeal therefore, shall be completed by not later than 31 July 2015,” said Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
The High Court refused to hear Bhasikiti’s case on an urgent basis triggering his expulsion from the national assembly and a possible calling of a by-election anytime.
The former minister took the unusual step of dragging Mugabe, Zanu PF and Speaker of Parliament Mudenda to court, arguing that his expulsion from the former liberation movement was illegal.
Bhasikiti argued that the politburo did not have the power to expel him and had also not accorded him his right to defend himself.
In his arguments, Biti urged the court to rule in his client’s favour, saying Chidyausiku and the bench had the power to remind Mugabe of his obligations to uphold the Constitution and observe the rules of natural justice that Bhasikiti had been denied.
The Mwenezi East legislator is among a number of Zanu PF leaders expelled from the party on allegations that they were part of a plot to assassinate Mugabe in order to replace him with Mujuru.
About 80 former ruling party stalwarts have fallen by the way-side since the purges began late last year but all have denied the charges amid reports they are regrouping with the aim of forming an opposition party to take on Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.