Supreme Court shelves MDC feud ruling

HARARE - Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has reserved judgment in a case in which Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is fighting Industry minister Welshman Ncube for the breakaway MDC presidency.

Ncube, who is the current leader of the smaller formation of the MDC, will remain party president after Chidyausiku yesterday indefinitely reserved judgment.

Chidyausiku did not disclose reasons why he shelved announcing judgment.

Ncube’s lawyers led by Adrian de Bourbon say this means that a provisional order granted by the Bulawayo High Court in 2011 barring Mutambara from exercising any function as party president remains in force.

Mutambara is also interdicted from interfering with the structures and organs of the party, which broke away from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s mainstream formation in 2005 but has been rocked by power squabbles since then.

Represented by Alec Muchadehama, Mutambara, who was not in court, is appealing against Ncube’s legitimacy as breakaway MDC president after the Industry minister won elections at a party congress in 2011.

Mutambara did not contest the 2011 poll. But 13 of his supporters boycotted the congress and unsuccessfully contested the constitutionality of the election at the High Court.

The Supreme Court, which is now seized with the case, is expected to put finality to the leadership row.

Mutambara remains a Principal to the power-sharing government after President Robert Mugabe refused to recognise Ncube’s manoeuvres to replace the robotics professor as deputy prime minister. - Nyasha Chingono

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