Mutasa, Mliswa challenge: Court to rule on Monday

HARARE - The Constitutional Court will on Monday determine the urgency of former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa’s application challenging his expulsion from Parliament.

Mutasa filed the application together with Temba Mliswa following their expulsion from Parliament last week.

The developments followed their dismissal from Zanu PF three weeks ago.

Mutasa and Mliswa were Zanu PF’s House of Assembly representatives for Headlands and Hurungwe West respectively.

The two claimed that their rights to equal protection of the law were infringed by the expulsion.

They argued that they have a right to stand for any election for public office.

They want the court to declare their expulsion illegal.

They further argued that they have a right to administrative justice and to a fair hearing, through the protection of the Constitution.

In the application, Mutasa and Mliswa cited the speaker of National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, President Robert Mugabe and the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Rita Makarau, as respondents.

“My purported expulsion is obviously devoid of substance to be acted upon,” Mutasa argued.

“It cannot be a basis for anything because it is a nullity. 

“…it is clear to me that the conduct of the first respondent in declaring my seat vacant is contrary to law,” he said, adding that the section Mudenda used to expel him from Parliament, applied to a person who would have lawfully ceased to belong to a political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament.

“I have not ceased to be a member of Zanu PF. I can only cease to be a member of Zanu PF in accordance with the provisions of Zanu PF constitution,” Mutasa said.

He argued that Zanu PF should have obtained a court order confirming that he was no longer the party’s member, before expelling him.

“It is ridiculous and clearly contrary to law for the Speaker to choose to toe the line of the political party, leaving it to the member to approach the courts,” he argued.

Mutasa said he was not served  with a notice declaring his seat vacant.

“I don’t know whether or not the notice actually exists because it has not been shown to me. I was not given an opportunity to challenge the authenticity of the notice, if it exists,” he said.

He further argued that Mudenda was impartial in handling the issue.

“The first respondent (Mudenda) was impartial, having participated in all meetings that are at the centre of the issues in dispute, including the meeting that purportedly expelled me,” he said.

“He (Mudenda) participated in the purported meeting of the Zanu PF politburo on February 18, 2015, which is said to have expelled me.”

 

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