Mudenda offside, Mutasa argues

HARARE - Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa has described Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda’s decision to expel him from the House of Assembly as absurd and lacking in common sense.

In an application filed together with Temba Mliswa, who has also been expelled from Parliament following the pair’s disputed expulsion from Zanu PF, the two men are seeking a court order stopping the holding of by-elections in the Headlands and Hurungwe constituencies that they have been representing.

Mutasa and Mliswa have cited Mudenda, President Robert Mugabe and the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Rita Makarau as the respondents in the application.

In their heads of argument, the two said Mudenda did not follow the proper constitutional procedures while handling their expulsion.

They accused Mudenda of jumping the gun and not acting in accordance with the law.

Under Section 129 (1) (k), in order for a member of Parliament to lose his seat, the member has to first cease to belong to the political party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament, and a notice must be written confirming such a development.

Mutasa and Mliswa said Mudenda was supposed to leave the matter in the hands of Zanu PF, and for the courts to make a determination as there was a dispute.

“The involvement of the member concerned before declaring his or her seat vacant under Section 129 (1) (k) is not just a matter of law and natural justice. It is also a matter of common sense.

“Given that membership of a political party is contractual, it cannot make sense to allow only one party to the contract to announce its termination. Any departure from this common sense requires express words to that effect,” the duo argued. They said an interpretation that allowed the speaker or president of the senate to declare a seat vacant without affording the members concerned an opportunity to demonstrate the nonfulfilment of one or both of the two requirements of Section 129 (1) (k) was absurd.

“Both the undermining of the founding values and principles of the nation and the absurdity are easy to illustrate.

“The whole purpose of the constitutional provisions of the legislature would be defeated if members of Parliament are arbitrarily removed from Parliament.

“This is such a glaring absurdity that could never have been intended,” they said.

They said within the scope of Section 129 (1) (k), an unlawful termination of membership at the instance of the political party does not make a member “cease” to be a member.

“In other words, a person is not dead merely because their death certificate had been issued. The first respondent (Mudenda) clearly misdirected himself in law in believing that all what was required was to dance to the tune of the political party concerned,” they said, adding that they had not been subjected to any disciplinary proceedings before their expulsion.”

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

They also argued that they had a right to stand for any election for public office and were now seeking the court to declare their expulsion a nullity. They further argued that they had a right to administrative justice and to a fair hearing through the protection of the Constitution.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has set down the matter for hearing on April 1, in time before the sitting of the nomination court on April 8.

Government set June 10 as the day for the holding of by-elections for the two seats.

Comments (9)

Hats off . These guyz have got a very strong case to make here. They were iltreated , intimidated and harassed by their party . Never given a fair hearing . mbavha dzekuMbare were hired to intimidate them . This is in the public domain. Morever the boadroom coup that was put in palce in our motherland. Everything was discussed in the blankets then allowed to be passed without scritiny.

chamboko - 26 March 2015

This is well articulated. Ndiwo anonzi maLawyer asumudza nyaya iyi. Chondongotya ndochokuti vachaihwa (vana Chidyamasikati) nyaya iyi matanda zvawo.

dick mboko - 26 March 2015

Mutasa wrote to Mudenda to tell him that he was still a member of ZanuPF.That meant the seat was not vacant because Mutasa had joined ZanuPF voluntarily and had not resigned,and the constitutional method of terminating his membership was not followed.

Kufandada - 26 March 2015

Sekuru Didimus once stood for clean politics but the taste of and greed for power made him descend into the worst kind of dirty political thuggery. We see the need for justice and all the fairness he cries out for now. My question is does sekuru want to remain in his beloved party to continue with impunity the political thuggery he engineered with his erstwhile gang. Can he be manenough to admit his horrific part in ZANU PF "politics". Sure sekuru you need cleansing before shedding your crocodile tears in the truthful private press you once haunted and hunted for espousing the ethics you now admire.

Abri - 26 March 2015

Mutasa argues..“Given that membership of a political party is contractual, ...." Well this is NOT correct. What is correct is that an individual joins of leaves a political party voluntarily. However, as long as a party follows its set rules, it can terminate the membership even against the member's wish. So the matter really boils down to whether the ZANU followed it's set rules or not in firing Mutasa.

Chauruka - 26 March 2015

Mutasa can argue all he wants, but this is a delayed match against zanu pf. He will not win this in any court of law under the current system. Mutasa once famously said "zanu pf does not have reverse gear". The treatment of Mutasa fit the DNA, policies and culture of zanu pf which Mutasa help create. He must fight another day.

X-MAN IV - 26 March 2015

How many people did you fire from Parliament yourself? Hey..... when you were secretary for admin of that moronic monster party? It's normal, I think you actually FIRED YOURSELF FROM THE PARTY AND PARLIAMENT when you failed to attend congress! Is that not your language? You are a stupid fool Mutasa and nothing will rehabilitate you!

Phaphamanii - 27 March 2015

Mr Mutasa is a cry baby zvakafanana nababa vanotengera mwana banana vomupa mwana ogamuchira mwana okumbira baba kuti wamumenyere baba vomenya banana vomudzorera baba vokumbira mwana kuti ndipewo ndirume kachidimbu mwana oramba baba votora voruma vomudzorera mwana ochema zvikuru zvinoreva kuti baba havana kudzidzisa mwana kupa you reap what you saw how can you cry against some thing that you were dishing just less than 3 months ago keep quiet and try something else mbavha hadzinzwirane tsistsi you know that stop wasting the money that you stole from us uchitora malawyers why do you need to fight the heartless people that you ganged with to destroy our loved Zimbabwe kana kuti you want to show them that you are also a dictator you cant be bullied you are a shame sis

mukanya - 27 March 2015

The points raised by sekuru Mutasa are genuine but we won't feel sorry for you.The man is trying to be a saint but its too late because we are into extra time and only few seconds for you to cover your footsteps. Time is up, you used to enjoy those stringent systems so why cry today. We Machinja we are happy about what is happening.

Chemical Solution - 27 March 2015

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