Judge reserves judgement in Mutambara’s MDC leadership contest


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Harare – The Supreme Court today reserved ruling in the case in which the Professor Welshman Ncube led MDC wants to quash two appeals filed by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and his followers seeking nullification of the party’s congress and election.

DPM Mutambara, who was ousted from the party through a congress held early last year, was barred from holding himself as the party leader by the High Court in Bulawayo.

Mr Jobert Mudzumwe and 12 other disgruntled party officials also unsuccessfully challenged the congress and election of Prof Ncube as the party’s leader at the High Court, Harare.

DPM Mutambara and the 13 party members filed two separate notices of appeal at the Supreme Court, the action that automatically suspended the High Court judgements granted in favour of Professor Ncube and his party.

That prompted Prof Ncube and his party to file chamber applications at the Supreme Court seeking to quash the appeals by Prof Mutambara and his disgruntled followers.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday heard arguments sitting in his chambers and reserved rulings in the respective cases. Gill Godlonton and Gerrans law firm instructed Advocate Girach Firoz to represent Prof Ncube and his faction.

Advocate Lewis Uriri instructed by Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni argued on behalf of DPM Mutambara and the 13 others.

According to the affidavits by an MDC representative Duduzile Ndawana, DPM Mutambara and the 13 activists erred by not providing security for costs of the applications, hence their notices of appeal were defective and should be dismissed.

“Consequent in terms of Rule 46(2) of the Supreme Court, the respondents were obliged to provide good and sufficient security for the applicants’ costs of appeal in the absence of the applicant’s waiver of its right to security.

“It is common cause that the respondents should have furnished such good and sufficient security for the applicants’ costs within a month of noting of the appeal,” read the affidavits. It is Prof Ncube’s contention that DPM Mutambara and the 13 failed to comply with a peremptory provision of the Rules of the Supreme Court and that the appeals should be thrown out.

After the Supreme Court hearings Adv Uriri said he had opposed the application orally before the chief justice. “Our argument was simple. The tender for security of costs was made in the notices of appeal. “They (MDC and Prof Ncube) were supposed to indicate what they felt was adequate security but they ignored the request.

The Bulawayo High Court ruling that was delivered on December 15 last year by Justice Lawrence Kamocha interdicted DPM Mutambara from purporting to be the president of MDC.

It also barred him from exercising any further functions vested in the President of the party. On June 12 this year Justice Bharat Patel dismissed an application by Mudzumwe and 13 others. The judgment validated the congress and the election of the new party executive led by Prof Ncube.

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