By Mary Taruvinga
THE High Court in Harare has ordered the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators (ZNLWC) to hold an elective congress to elect a new committee within the next two months.
High Court Judge Justice David Mangota gave the association a 60-day ultimatum to hold an elective congress to elect a new management committee following an application filed by its current general secretary Jabulani Mbetu.
Justice Mangota delivered a default judgment on June 5, 2019, after the war collaborators failed to attend the hearing only attended by Mbetu.
“I have already demonstrated that I have a right to the relief I seek in this application, through my general membership and my position as general secretary of the respondent.
“If the respondent is not interdicted from continuing to operate with an illegal management committee making decisions that are in essence null and void, the entire organisation will be placed in serious jeopardy,” Mbetu said in his founding affidavit.
“The respondent, functioning with an illegal management committee, will affect the functions of my office as general secretary. I stand vindicated by law which allows me to legally seek pronouncement of the respondent’s illegal standing and leadership a nullity,” he said urging the court to rule in his favour.
The war collaborators body was cited as respondent.
Mangota ruled that Mbetu has the right to an elective congress and ordered the organisation to act as such.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed in record and hearing counsel it is ordered that: The applicant (Mbetu) be and is hereby declared to have the right to an elective congress of the respondent (ZNLWC) every five years to elect the respondent’s management committee,” Justice Mangota ruled.
“The respondent be and is hereby ordered to hold an elective congress within the next 60 days to elect a new management committee. Respondent is hereby ordered to pay costs on a legal practitioner-client scale.”
Mbetu had approached the High Cour seeking a declaratur and an interdict against his organisation to effectively bar it from continuing to operate with what he described as an illegal management committee.