High Court reserves judgment in CCC recall challenge ahead of by-elections

High Court judge has withheld judgment in the case brought by Sengezo Tshabangu, seeking the disqualification of recalled CCC MPs and senators in upcoming by-elections.

HARARE – High Court judge, Never Katiyo, has withheld judgment in the case brought forward by Sengezo Tshabangu, seeking the disqualification of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Members of Parliament (MPs) and senators who were recalled from participating in the upcoming Saturday by-elections.

The case revolves around Tshabangu‘s claim to be the party’s interim secretary general and his recall of 14 lower house legislators and eight senators in October.

Despite losing appeals at both the High Court and the Supreme Court, the recalled MPs successfully filed their nomination papers for the by-elections under CCC, prompting Tshabangu’s latest legal challenge.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Tshabangu’s lawyer, Lewis Uriri, argued that the recalled MPs should not contest under the party from which they were recalled.

“They were recalled, and as a result, by-elections were called for. We submit that ZEC should not have accepted nomination papers of recalled members without confirmation of their restoration to the party,” Uriri asserted.

Tshabangu filed his application citing CCC as the first applicant.

However, CCC, led by Nelson Chamisa, sought to be joined in the proceedings, leading to a legal dispute over the legitimacy of the CCC’s involvement.

Citizens Coalition for Change CCC leader Nelson Chamisa and former finance minister Tendai Biti during a public rally recently.
FILE: Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa and former finance minister Tendai Biti during a public rally in March 2022.

Uriri contended that the CCC joining the proceedings was bogus, stating, “There was one CCC before Munamato Mutevedzi (the judge who dismissed the MPs’ appeal before the High Court); not two.”

“An allegation was that Tshabangu was an impostor. That allegation failed. This court found the recall was not false. This court, having validated that recall, it was not proper for them to file papers under the same party.”

In response, Alec Muchadehama, representing the recalled legislators, argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

He further stated that Tshabangu’s request had been overtaken by events, with ballot papers already printed and sent to constituencies.

Agency Gumbo, representing CCC, accused Tshabangu’s application of being a disguised review application brought through the back door.

The judge interjected, pointing out contradictions in the lawyers’ arguments and questioning the difficulty in distinguishing the two CCCs.

As the case reaches a complex juncture, with parties presenting conflicting arguments, Judge Katiyo reserved judgment, acknowledging the intricate nature of the matter for a court that is not an Electoral Court.

The delayed judgment leaves the fate of the recalled MPs and senators hanging in the balance ahead of the imminent by-elections.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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