Court blocks war vets lead­er­ship elec­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fidelis Mun­y­oro Harare Bu­reau

THE Zim­babwe National Lib­er­a­tion War Vet­er­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ZNLWVA) has ob­tained a court order to stop a war vet­er­ans’ splin­ter group from con­ven­ing a spe­cial meet­ing to elect the as­so­ci­a­tion’s new lead­er­ship.

Man­i­ca­land Pro­vin­cial Affairs Min­is­ter Cde Mandi Chimene is lead­ing the splin­ter group, as its in­terim chair­per­son. The group is ex­pected to con­vene a spe­cial meet­ing soon to elect new lead­er­ship of the ZNLWVA.

This comes af­ter Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe rec­om­mended that they hold a meet­ing to elect new lead­er­ship, if they so wish.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe made the re­marks while ad­dress­ing war vet­er­ans, mem­bers of the women’s and youth leagues, gath­ered at the Zanu-PF head­quar­ters in Harare re­cently to ex­press their sol­i­dar­ity with the Head of State and Gov­ern­ment and Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Zim­babwe De­fence Forces.

In an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion heard be­fore Jus­tice Joseph Musakwa in the High Court yes­ter­day, 13 mem­bers of the splin­ter group were listed as re­spon­dents.

Af­ter hear­ing ar­gu­ments from both par­ties, the judge reaf­firmed the court’s pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion that the Mandi Chimene-led splin­ter group has no man­date to act on be­half of the recog­nised as­so­ci­a­tion.

He granted an in­terim order block­ing the hold­ing of the meet­ing to elect a new lead­er­ship of the ZNLWVA.

“Pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of this mat­ter, re­spon­dents be and are hereby or­dered not to in­ter­fere with the ap­pli­cant’s (ZNLWVA) ac­tiv­i­ties or give Press con­fer­ences with re­gard to ap­pli­cant and its lead­er­ship,” said Jus­tice Musakwa.

“Re­spon­dents and any other per­sons act­ing through them are hereby in­ter­dicted from hold­ing them­selves out as the in­terim or sub­stan­tive lead­ers of the ap­pli­cant.

“Re­spon­dents and any other per­sons are or­dered to re­store ac­cess and pos­ses­sion of the ap­pli­cant pro­vin­cial of­fices in Man­i­ca­land province and Mid­lands province forth­with from the ser­vice of this order upon them.

“Re­spon­dents and all other per­sons act­ing through them are in­ter­dicted from call­ing any elec­tion within the as­so­ci­a­tion or af­fect­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the ap­pli­cant.”

The order was granted against Cdes Ge­orge Mlala, Charles Mpofu, Joseph Chinotimba, Es­ther Mun­yaradzi, Stephen Moyo and Robert Muk­wena.

Jus­tice Musakwa, how­ever, de­ferred the mat­ter to Au­gust 10 for fur­ther hear­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the ap­pli­ca­tion in re­spect of the other seven — Cdes Ge­orge Ma­tenda, Pa­trick Nyaruwata, Fu­ture Piriyana, Welling­ton Chite­hwe, Rueben Chikono, Thomas Matambe and Thomas Ku­naka.

The call for new lead­er­ship in the ZNLWVA fol­lows al­leged vote of no con­fi­dence on the Christo­pher Mutsvangwa-led ex­ec­u­tive.

Mr Mutsvangwa was con­se­quently ex­pelled from Zanu-PF af­ter he was con­victed of con­duct that showed dis­re­spect of the party lead­er­ship.

In their ar­gu­ment, the splin­ter group that was not legally rep­re­sented, ar­gued that the Mutsvangwa ex­ec­u­tive was re­moved by a vote of no con­fi­dence.

But ZNLWVA lawyer Mr Rungano Mahuni of Mahuni, Gidiri Law Cham­bers, ar­gued that the con­sti­tu­tion of the as­so­ci­a­tion does not pro­vide for the re­moval of its lead­ers by a vote of no con­fi­dence.

Mr Mahuni also told the court that the Chimeneled fac­tion can­not pur­port to act on be­half of the as­so­ci­a­tion in the ab­sence of an elec­tion to bring them into the lead­er­ship of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

The Zanu-PF Polit­buro this week re­solved to ex­pel ZNLWVA sec­re­tary gen­eral Vic­tor Matemadanda, spokesper­son Dou­glas Mahiya, national com­mis­sar Fran­cis Nhando and deputy chair­per­son Head­man Moyo.

The quar­tet ap­peared in court this week fac­ing charges of at­tempt­ing to sub­vert a con­sti­tu­tion­ally elected Gov­ern­ment. They are all out on $300 bail each.

ey were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a damn­ing com­mu­nique last month that called on Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe to re­sign.

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