Government yesterday said Chief Negomo who summoned Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to appear before his traditional court does not have jurisdiction over the area where the PM allegedly married a Harare businesswoman.
The chief wants Tsvangirai charged for paying lobola/roora for Lorcadia Tembo during the “sacred month of November” in his area of jurisdiction.
But Sessel Zvidzai, Local Government Urban and Rural Development deputy minister, said Christon Bank where the traditional ceremony held was not under Chief Negomo’s jurisdiction.
Zvidzai threatened unspecified action against the chief who delivered the summons to Tsvangirai’s offices on Thursday with journalists in tow.
He was accompanied by Zanu PF MP for Mazowe North Retired Major Cairo Philbert Mhandu who claims to be the chief’s aide.
“Chief Negomo is not the chief responsible for Christon Bank and has no jurisdiction over this area,” he said in a statement.
“His actions to summon the Prime Minister to his so-called court are mischievous. Such mischief will naturally invite action from the ministry.”
Zvidzai said Christon Bank was a resettlement under Mazowe Rural District Council, which has not been placed under the jurisdiction of any chief, with many traditional leaders also laying claim to the area.
Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha legal practitioners, also wrote to the chief yesterday informing him that the PM would not appear before his court today.
“From a legal standpoint, Tsvangirai will not appear before your Court because the entire process is manifestly illegal and void ab initio (of no legal effect),” reads part of the letter seen by NewsDay.
“It appears to us that you have not read and or that you do not understand the law, province and your limits as a traditional chief.”
Tsvangirai’s lawyers said the summons presented to the PM’s Office were defective because they cited Chief Negomo as both the complainant and presiding officer.
“By this letter, we have placed on record that whatever you do or decide on the 10th of December 2011 will be of no legal force or effect,” Hwacha said.