MP loses coun­cil High Court bat­tle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

THE High Court has dis­missed an ap­pli­ca­tion by Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) who wanted Binga Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cil to fire its chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Cde Joshua Muzamba on grounds that he was a Zanu-PF Cen­tral Com­mit­tee mem­ber.

The rul­ing by Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Martin Makonese fol­lows a court ap­pli­ca­tion by Sibanda who sought an or­der com­pelling Cde Muzamba to re­sign as the coun­cil boss if he was still a mem­ber of the cen­tral com­mit­tee.

In court pa­pers be­fore the court, Cde Muzamba and Binga RDC were cited as re­spon­dents.

Sibanda through his lawyers, Phulu and Ncube, chal­lenged the elec­tion of Cde Muzamba to the rul­ing party’s Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, ar­gu­ing that it was in vi­o­la­tion of sec­tion 266(3) of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Jus­tice Makonese ruled that Sibanda failed to in­ter­pret the pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion pro­hibit­ing em­ploy­ees of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties from hold­ing of­fice in a po­lit­i­cal party.

“It is my view that the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of sec­tion 266 (3) of the Con­sti­tu­tion must be grounded in the text it­self and the text must set the lim­its of in­ter­pre­ta­tion. By this in­ter­pre­ta­tion, the first re­spon­dent (Cde Muzamba) is not an of­fice bearer in Zanu-PF and ac­cord­ingly, the ap­pli­ca­tion to im­peach his po­si­tion as CEO of coun­cil, must fail,” ruled the judge.

Jus­tice Makonese said Sibanda failed to es­tab­lish that Cde Muzamba’s em­ploy­ment as coun­cil CEO vi­o­lates the pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

“I ac­cord­ingly, con­clude that a case has not been made for the re­lief sought by the ap­pli­cant. The ap­pli­ca­tion be and is hereby dis­missed and the ap­pli­cant is or­dered to bear the costs of suit,” ruled the judge.

In his found­ing af­fi­davit, Sibanda ar­gued that Cde Muzamba was in breach of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

“I wrote a let­ter and de­liv­ered it to the Binga RDC chair­per­son on July 9, 2015 and to date there is no re­sponse. I also raised the is­sue with the Min­is­ter of Lo­cal Govern­ment in Par­lia­ment since he is the per­son charged with the af­fairs of lo­cal govern­ment, but the Min­is­ter clearly saw noth­ing wrong with the is­sue,” said Sibanda.

He ar­gued that hold­ing of­fice in a po­lit­i­cal party by em­ploy­ees of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties com­pro­mised ser­vice de­liv­ery. “The con­sti­tu­tion out­laws the hold­ing of a po­lit­i­cal party of­fice by coun­cil em­ploy­ees, pri­mar­ily be­cause they have to serve all man­ner of peo­ple even those of dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal par­ties and per­sua­sions,” said Sibanda.

The MP wanted the court to or­der Cde Muzamba to im­me­di­ately va­cate the of­fice of CEO of Binga RDC if he doesn’t re­lin­quish his post as Zanu-PF Cen­tral Com­mit­tee mem­ber.

Cde Muzamba was elected to the Zanu-PF Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in De­cem­ber 2014. — @ mash­nets

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