Coup: Linda Masarira drags Mnangagwa to court

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FIREBRAND activist and aspiring MP for Harare Central Linda Masarira is this Thursday filing a Constitutional Court challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule which she insists came through a coup.

Masarira is filing the challenge in her personal capacity and through her Revolutionary Freedom Fighters group.

She is also joined in the court action by one Vusumuzi Sibanda and activist Bongani Nyathi.

Speaking to Wednesday, Masarira said she had planned to file the challenge in January this year but none of the leading constitutional lawyers, among them Tendai Biti and Lovemore Madhuku, were willing to volunteer their services in pursuing the matter.

Mnangagwa was, in November last year, axed as Vice President by then President Robert Mugabe on alleged disloyalty.

His dismissal from government backfired almost immediately when the country’s partisan military November 15 staged a dramatic seizure of government, forcing Mugabe to tender his resignation.

In attempts to camouflage an apparent coup, pro-Mnangagwa war veterans were quick to seek a High Court order declaring the military intervention into State affairs as constitutional.

Since the time, none among locals, even those known to be loyal to Mugabe, have made an attempt to formally challenge Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.

The veteran politician is almost 100 days into his rule which has been rubber-stamped even by the Zanu PF government’s most ardent international critics.

Mnangagwa has earned a lot of admirers from far and beyond for displaying rare dexterity to shepherd the nation through a potentially explosive political situation to the current semblance of peace.

However, Masarira has finally emerged to bell the proverbial cat through a court challenge against Mnangagwa’s rule.

“We are filing a court challenge against Mnangagwa’s legitimacy. We cannot even trust him with the management of elections this year,” she said.

Masarira added, “A coup is a coup period, blood or no blood spilt.

“Once there is forceful removal (of a President), it matters not whether there is resistance.

“…Once there is the threat of force and harm, then there is force even if the target does not retaliate and further to that as Zimbabweans we have seen enough violence to shy away and coil into our shells than challenge actions of the army and our government.”

Mugabe last week finally broke his silence over the November 15 events, insisting his ouster was unconstitutional.

He told close family members during a private 94th birthday party that the military used its purported attempts to restore his legacy as a decoy to dethrone him. He also claimed there were army killings behind what has been hailed as a bloodless coup.

Hardly a week later, Masarira has emerged to file a court challenge but denies being a front for the once feared leader.

The activist says she wants Mnangagwa to be forced out of his job by the courts arguing he got it fraudulently.

She is seeking for a transitional authority to superintend over the country’s affairs until the holding of national elections later this year.