HomeLocal NewsBulawayo pressure group takes Copac to court

Bulawayo pressure group takes Copac to court

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A Bulawayo-based pressure group, Ibhetshu Lika Zulu, has taken the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) to the Supreme Court appealing against a High Court decision to have them excluded from the constitution outreach programme.
The pressure group leaders Qhubekani Dube, Mqondisi Moyo and Phathisani Moyo launched the appeal last Tuesday.
According to court papers in NewsDay’s possession, the three argue that the lower court erred in ruling they should be removed from the list of outreach teams.
“Take notice that the appellants hereby appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Zimbabwe, sitting at Bulawayo, in the matter between Qhubekani Dube and others versus the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) HB43/10 (HC1133/ 10) delivered by Justice Nicholas Ndou on the 24th of June 2010.
“The court a quo (lower court) erred in holding that the decision of the respondents to remove the applicants from the outreach teams without first giving them a hearing and without giving reasons did not constitute unfair administrative action in contravention of Section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act (Chapter 10: 28),” reads the preamble of the application.
The documents further states that the lower court erred in accepting that the decision to remove the three from the Copac list was done at the behest of one political party.
“The court a quo failed to take into account that the respondent as a decision-making body took its own decision to remove the applicants from the list of the outreach teams and in so doing, was so bound to comply with its statutory duties prescribed in the Administrative Justice Act (supra) to give the appellants a hearing before taking its decisions,” added the defence, led by Sindiso Mazibisa.
In the earlier ruling, Ndou said despite the three being removed from the final list, the applicants still had a constitutional right to participate in the outreach programmes by giving their views to Copac teams.
In response, Mazibisa argued the real dispute was their removal from the outreach exercise and not their participation in the outreach exercise.
“The court a quo further erred in arriving at its final decision by holding that the appellants were free to participate in the constitution-making process in other ways when the real issue in dispute was the respondents’ removal of the appellants from outreach teams without giving them a hearing when appellants had waited for five months with legitimate expectation to be part of the exercise,” argued Mazibisa.
Accordingly, the documents add, the three were seeking an order that would set aside the earlier ruling of the High Court.
“Wherefore, the appellants pray for an order that the judgment of the court a quo dismissing the application with costs be set aside and substituted with the following: (that) The decision of the respondent to remove the applicants from the outreach teams of the constitution-making process and without giving reasons is hereby declared to be unfair and in contravention of section 3 (1) (a) of the Administrative Justice Act (Chapter 10:28).”

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