Sort out your mess, judge tells Zanu PF

HARARE - In a development that could worsen the deadly factional and succession wars devouring President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu has sanctioned the party’s two feuding candidates for the keenly-contested Harare East Constituency in the forthcoming by-elections.

Justice Bhunu also ordered the ruling party to sort out its own mess, saying that political parties should not unnecessarily shift responsibility for their processes and disputes to electoral authorities and the courts.

The ruling yesterday followed the controversial disqualification of the winner of Zanu PF’s internal polls for the Harare East by-election, Terence Mukupe, by Zanu PF bigwigs — who subsequently replaced him with Mavis Gumbo, leading him to approach the courts for redress.

While the court ruling brought relief to Mukupe, it will have done little to douse the raging wars in the ruling party as party secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo backed Gumbo, while political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere supported Mukupe.

Bhunu also criticised nomination officer Fiona Kurima’s contentious decision to disqualify Mukupe, adding that the issue should have been resolved internally by Zanu PF.

“This is an internal matter that should be resolved internally. Zanu PF, and indeed every other political party, has the sole right and responsibility to choose its own election candidates. It cannot shift that responsibility to the nomination officer or the courts.

“Thus the nomination officer fell in grave error when she attempted to resolve the party’s own internal controversy by preferring one candidate over the other from the same party.

“Since both parties papers were in order, the nomination officer had no option but to accept both candidates as duly nominated and leave the party to sort out its own mess and controversy according to its own legal instruments and devices,” Bhunu said.

The situation turned nasty over the past fortnight after Kasukuwere was accused by his detractors of defying his superiors and attempting to impose Mukupe in the constituency.

In the party’s primary elections Mukupe had floored Gumbo convincingly after garnering 651 votes against Gumbo’s 369 votes.

He later managed to successfully lodge his papers with the nomination court, but was disqualified and replaced with Gumbo, who is believed to be aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF faction.

Gumbo also managed to file her papers with the nomination court after she brought a letter from Chombo supporting her candidature, while Kasukuwere later wrote another letter claiming Mukupe was the legitimate party candidate.

Mukupe was eventually dropped and replaced with Gumbo — which enraged him, leading to his decision to file his court application seeking reinstatement.

“Confronted by the two conflicting and confusing letters from two very high ranking members of the central committee and the politburo, the second respondent (Kurima) chose to obey the secretary for administration’s letter to the detriment of the secretary for commissariat’s position.

“It is clear that there was serious factional controversy between the secretary for administration and the secretary for commissariat. This was however an internal dispute which had nothing to do with the second respondent in her capacity as the nomination officer,” Bhunu said.

Bhunu went on to say that it was clear that both Mukupe and Gumbo’s papers were in order.

“The nomination officer’s finding that it was in fact not true that the appellant was the authorised Zanu PF candidate was therefore grossly irrational as it goes against the grain of evidence and all the available documentation lodged with her,” he said.

He said Chombo’s letter did not specify that Mukupe was not authorised to stand for Zanu PF in the elections.

“All what he said was that his candidature was being withdrawn, a fact which was hotly disputed by the secretary for commissariat.”

Bhunu said it was clear that the nomination officer had been confronted by a situation where Zanu PF was mired in controversy and divided over which one of its two members should represent it at the forthcoming by-elections for the Harare East Constituency.

“The controversy appears to be between the two secretaries for administration and commissariat.”

Bhunu went on to quash and set aside the nomination court’s decision of barring Mukupe’s candidature.

He went on to order, “that both the appellant Terence Mukupe and the 4th respondent Mavis Gumbo be and are hereby declared to be the duly nominated candidates for Zanu PF in the 10 June, 2015, House of Assembly by-elections for the Harare East Constituency”.

In the application, Mukupe had also cited the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Rita Makarau and the acting Zanu PF chairperson for Harare province Goodwills Masimirembwa as respondents.


    Comments (7)

    justice you a right why if Terence submitted his papers and Gumbo,all were right then Terence should be a winner 651 votes. people like Chombo has killed the party by just fielding in their candidates even cooperatives has killed the processes,Haasi murwi wehondo anoda kuparadza party manje my friend hapana munhu ane munhu wake Chombo you did the same in Kambuzuma fielding underage candidate whoich has completely divide the constituence and Patrick Zhuwao.Whatever the candidate does he says sent by Chombo uri mhuka yerudzii it was war of war vets Mujuru and party now you a war of technocrats haubudirire.Cde President Mugabe mwana anoita hwanaMutasa now now dimurai musve wake.

    cde joboringo - 7 May 2015

    what about Mutasa case in Mutare, can we draw some similarities. he was denied to register as a candidate. what was the reason.

    mupfudze - 7 May 2015

    How unpopular can a nationalist movement get? Only 1,020 potential voters in an urban setup? Listen to the Herald after the elections.

    Nyimo - 7 May 2015

    Thank you Justice Bhunu.

    Farai - 7 May 2015

    Mupfudze, asi une chirwere chepfungwa?

    Francis - 7 May 2015

    Gumbo??? or Mukupe??? absolutely changes nothing for Harare East,let alone Zimbabwe. Regai varwire mikana yavo yekuba,kuhura nekudhakwa kuParliament,ndoo chete zvavanogona.Economy ichijuja ropa hapana arikufunga zvekuigadzirisa-kuba chete,kutiza kubvisa tax,kusabvisa matoll-fees,kutuka ana nyamukuta tichada kuzvara nekurova vanhu vamurikutungamirira ,rimwe zuva chichaherereka chete!!!!

    Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida - 8 May 2015

    Why does Stanley Gama and co. not think that this look-east story is not important news?

    Leslie Gwindi - 8 May 2015

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.