via Ejection null and void, say legal experts | The Herald June 30, 2014 by Peter Matambanadzo
THE expulsion of MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and party national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo by a disciplinary tribunal set up by the Renewal Team led by secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti, is null and void, legal experts said yesterday.
They argued that no one had the power to come up with decisions that superseded a court order.
This comes after Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Moyo were expelled from MDC-T after being found guilty by the tribunal for violating the party’s Constitution and using violence as a political tool.
The disciplinary hearing, led by lawyers Messrs Gift Nyandoro, Tafadzwa Mugabe and Edwin Hamunakwadi went ahead at Mandel Training Centre at the same time the High Court was delivering a ruling stopping the proceedings last Friday. The lawyers concurred that court orders should be obeyed or people risked being charged with contempt of court.
“The basic thing is that people should respect the orders given by our courts. So where there is an order stating a certain action, people should just comply with that order,” Mr Aston Musunga said.
He said it was not proper for Mr Biti’s faction to go ahead and ignore the court order. “Disregarding court orders can lead to contempt of court proceedings against the party that disobeys the court order,” Mr Musunga said.
Another prominent lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange, said court orders were supreme and must be followed.
“The court is supreme and when it makes its decision it must be obeyed. The rule of law requires that it must be obeyed especially by the MDC Renewal Team who are saying they want to champion democracy,” he said.
Mr Samukange said the MDC Renewal Team was claiming that it wanted to implement the rule of law and yet there were going against the same rule of law and claimed to be democratic.
“You cannot separate the rule of law and democracy. Rule of law requires that you obey court orders,” he said.
Mr Samukange described the Biti led disciplinary tribunal hearing as a kangaroo court. Mr Terrence Hussein also agreed with his colleagues saying court orders were supreme and should be followed.
“I think the Renewal Team in proceeding with the hearing after the court interdict makes it null and void as the High Court order takes precedence over all actions be it Parliament, be it the executive,” Mr Hussein said.
Another lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was not proper for the Renewal Team to proceed with the disciplinary hearing.
“It was wrong for them to proceed once the High Court interdict was issued. It means they already had an outcome,” the lawyer said.