Mnangagwa legitimacy challenger in High Court bid to stop Zanu PF congress

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By Mary Taruvinga I Senior Reporter

CONTROVERSIAL Zanu PF member, Sybeth Musengezi, has filed an urgent chamber application at the Harare High Court seeking to stop the party’s congress scheduled later this year, arguing that Mnangagwa does not have the powers to convene that meeting.

The case has yet to set down for hearing.

Zanu PF is due to hold its congress in October with Mnangagwa expected to be confirmed as the party’s Presidential candidate from general elections next year.

Last year Musengezi, who insists he is a member of the ruling party, sought a declaratur at the same court arguing that Mnangagwa was unlawfully handpicked into the presidency.

He is seeking Mnangagwa’s dismissal as president and Zanu PF member.

Zanu PF officials have claimed that Musengezi is not a member of the party, dismissing him as an agent of exiled former cabinet minister and politburo member Saviour Kasukuwere.


Sybeth Musengezi

In the latest development, the activist insists that Mnangagwa was ushered into office following an unlawful special session of Zanu PF’s central committee which was convened by unknown people including two prominent politicians Patrick Chinamasa and Obert Mpofu in violation of the party’s constitution.

Musengezi accuses the convenors of taking advantage of the then unfolding “Operation Restore Legacy” to topple the late former President Robert Mugabe from power.

“The basis of my complaint is that the person who convened the said Special Central Committee session had no authority to do so in terms of Zanu PF’s Constitution,” reads the urgent chamber application.

“The person who presided over the said meeting had no capacity/authority to preside over such meeting in terms of the Constitution of Zanu PF.

“Zanu PF’s office bearers therein elected in the said meeting were therefore elected in an unlawful process. The resolutions from the unlawful process of the said meeting were and still remain unlawful.”

The State-owned Herald newspaper, cited as the fifth respondent, recently reported that the Zanu PF congress will be held from the 26th to the 29th of October at Robert Mugabe Square in Harare.

Mnangagwa was fired from government by Mugabe in November 2017 for various allegations that included undermining the nonagenarian.

Two days later he was expelled from Zanu PF following “recommendations that were made by all the party’s 10 provincial co-ordinating committees”.

He would then escape into exile in South Africa before returning two weeks later to take over the leadership of the party and government after Mugabe was toppled by a military coup.

Musengezi told the High Court that the Central Committee does not have the power to reinstate a member who stands expelled from the party without that member following due process under the party’s constitution.

He said it was therefore illegal for the committee to purport to reinstate expelled members as well as Mnangagwa in absentia to the position from which he had been lawfully dismissed.

He said it was illegal for Chinamasa to purport to usurp and discharge the functions of the secretary for administration.