Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has petitioned the High Court to dismiss an application made by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC barring him from “masquerading” as party president after the latter failed to have the matter set down for hearing.
In his application on July 22, Mutambara cited the MDC and its secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi–Mushonga, as respondents.
Initially, the MDC had taken Mutambara to court to stop him from masquerading as a principal following his ouster at the party’s congress in January.
The court granted them interim relief and interdicted Mutambara from carrying out any official duties as the president of the party.
Mutambara is arguing the matter should have been set down by now but the MDC had not done that as yet.
“Grounds of the application respondents (MDC and Misihairabwi–Mushonga) having filed an urgent chamber application, the applicant (Mutambara) having opposed the confirmation of the provisional order on the 25th of February 2011, the respondents having filed their answering affidavit on 18 March 2011, the respondents not having set the matter down for hearing more than one month after filing the answering affidavit, the application be dismissed and the provisional order be discharged for want of prosecution,” said Mutambara.
In his founding affidavit, Mutambara said: “The said rule provides that where an applicant has filed an answering affidavit but has not set the matter down for hearing within one month thereafter, the respondent may make a chamber application to have the application dismisses for want of prosecution.”
He said the MDC and Misihairabwi–Mushonga filed their application on February 15, and he opposed it on February 25. On March 18, the MDC and Misihairabwi–Mushonga filed an answering affidavit.
“To date, the respondents have not filed their heads of argument or caused the matter to be set down for a hearing. The one-month period within which the respondents were expected to have set the matter down for hearing has since passed.
“It is now almost three months after the respondents filed their answering affidavit and yet they have done nothing to cause the matter to be heard,” he said in his affidavit.
“I submit that the respondents have shown that they are no longer interested in pursuing the matter. I, therefore, submit that once an application such as this one is made, the court must grant it.”