By Bulawayo Correspondent
A Bulawayo High Court Judge was Thursday forced to postpone hearing into a case in which a Gukurahundi survivor and local pressure groups are seeking to stop victim exhumations linked to the 1980s holocaust after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s lawyers indicated the national leader was not yet ready to defend his position in court.
The case will now be heard next week.
Gukurahundi survivor Charles Thomas, opposition Zapu and Ibhetshu Likazulu last week filed a joint urgent application at the Bulawayo High court seeking an interdict to bar government from exhuming victims of the state-sponsored massacres ostensibly for decent reburial.
President Mnangagwa and Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe are both respondents.
However, the two requested for deferment of the case citing ill-preparedness.
Apart from Mnangagwa and Kazembe, the litigants are also suing Jenni Williams, Matabeleland Collective, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) chairperson Retired Justice Sello Nare as well as the Commission.
Justice Martin Makonese postponed the hearing to Thursday next week after Mnangagwa and Kazembe’s lawyer Rejoice Hove of the Attorney General‘s office requested postponement.
“The 1st respondent (Mnangagwa) and 2nd respondent (Kazembe Kazembe) indicated through the AG’s office that they are not yet ready for the hearing.
“They said they only received the papers yesterday (Wednesday) and they need enough time to prepare their defence,” said the litigants‘ lawyer Nqobani Sithole soon after emerging from a closed door meeting in Justice Makonese’s chambers.
One of the respondents, Williams who is a self-actor also attended the meeting.
Mnangagwa was expected to officially launch the issuance of identity documents to Gukurahundi victims at Maphisa growth point in Matabeleland South next month.
An estimated 20 000 civilians died in the hands of the military in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early years of independence after the Zanu PF led government accused them of harbouring armed military dissidents.