Supreme Court dismisses CCC MPs appeal against recalls after failure to pay US$5k security costs

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 By Mary Taruvinga

Recalled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators and senators will have to refile their appeal at the Supreme Court for the third time after their latest application was trashed for failing to pay US$5000 security costs.

This first batch, recalled by Sengezo Tshabangu in October last year had its first application removed from the roll for being fatally defective in December last year.

On Thursday, a three-panel bench chaired by Supreme Court judge, Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, sitting with Antoneta Guvava and Alphius Chitakunye said the lawmakers should pay US$5000 as security for costs for their case to be heard.

Advocate Amanda Ndlovu who is representing the MPs said failure to pay was not wilful adding that the appeal will be noted again.

“There is an acceptance that the security of costs has not been done according to the law. By operation of the law, it has been deemed dismissed,” she said.

“I would pray that each party pays its costs. This situation is because of communication between the parties.

“It was not one born out of content or attempt to prejudice the respondents. There is no malice intended on the part of the applicants so we pray that each party bear its own costs,” she said.

Speaking to journalists after court proceedings, Ndlovu said since their matter has not been heard on the merits, they can still file another application.

“We still have not yet been heard on the merits. The appeal has not been dismissed, which means that we still have to sort out the issue of security costs before coming back to court for an appeal,’ she said after the case was adjourned.

Ngobani Ndlovu representing Tshabangu said rules were not followed.

“In this case that wasn’t done  as such rules of the court were violated and hence the court could not hear the matter.”

In December last year, the Supreme Court said the application filed by the legislators was defective after lawyers failed to comply with the rules of the court in filing the papers.

The lawyers did not cite the other parties involved at the High Court as respondents.

The Supreme Court said parties before the High Court were supposed to be the same before the apex court.

There were two notices of appeal before the Supreme Court.

One was filed on behalf of the first bunch of 14 MPS who were recalled from parliament by Tshabangu and another by the four senators recalled at the same time.

When the appeals were filed separately, the senators were not cited in the MPs’ appeal while the lower house legislators were not included in the senators’ appeal.

This was even though the cases were consolidated for ruling before the High Court.