ZIMBABWE – MDC president Professor Welshman Ncube yesterday lost an application to quash notices of appeal filed by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and 13 of his followers in two separate cases they are challenging the congress that ousted them from power.
The party held a congress in January last year, which resulted in Prof Ncube being elected president. DPM Mutambara and his followers did not attend the congress. They unsuccessfully contested the decisions at the High Court.
The High Court confirmed the congress and the election of the executive resulting in DPM Mutambara and the 13 filing two notices of appeal at the Supreme Court.
The MDC represented by Prof Ncube and the party’s secretarygeneral Ms Priscilla MisihairabwiMushonga sought to have the appeals struck out for noncompliance of the rules of the apex court. In a judgment made available yesterday, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled in favour of DPM Mutambara and his followers. They can now go ahead to prosecute their appeals.
MDC argued that DPM Mutambara and his corespondents had not tendered security for costs of the suit, which they said, was fatal to the appeal.
Justice Chidyausiku dismissed the applications. He ruled that an offer for costs had been made but both parties were to blame for failing to communicate and agree on the quantum. He directed the parties to agree on the amount and manner of securing the costs.
“It is ordered that the applications for dismissal of the appeals in case numbers SC176/12 and SC331/12 are hereby dismissed,” said Chief Justice Chidyausiku.
“The parties are directed to agree on the amount and manner of securing the applicants’ costs of appeal within 10 days of this judgment, failing which the registrar of this court, shall determine an appropriate amount to be paid into court for security for costs in terms of Rule 46(2) within 30 days of the date of this judgment.”
It was the court’s finding that DPM Mutambara and the group furnished a written undertaking for security for the costs of the appeal within one month of the date of filing in compliance with the provisions of the law.
The written undertaking, according to the court, was a credible method of providing security for costs.
Justice Chidyausiku found that MDC should have demanded a specific amount, which it considered appropriate as provision for costs, in response to the written offer.
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 Bulayawo. In his ruling Justice Lawrence Kamocha also interdicted DPM Mutambara from exercising any further functions vested in the president of the party.
On June 12 this year, Justice Bharat Patel in Harare dismissed an application by Mr Joubert Mudzumwe and 12 others. The judgment validated the congress and the election of the new party executive led by Prof Ncube.