MP loses council High Court battle
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