Court to decide on Zvoma


High Court judge Justice Francis Bere yesterday postponed to today judgment in the case in which Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, is seeking to block debate on an MDC-T motion calling for his dismissal.

Justice Bere heard Zvoma’s application, which was brought to court under a certificate of urgency on December 15, a few hours before Parliament debated the motion.

The motion that has since been amended to give Zvoma the right to reply through a five-member team, was adopted two weeks ago.

Zanu PF MPs, walked out of the august house protesting the alleged procedural irregularities.

The matter was heard in Justice Bere’s chambers and judgment was reserved after submissions by both parties.

Moving the contentious motion on December 6, Hwange Central House of Assembly representative Brian Tshuma said Zvoma should be fired for bringing the image of Parliament into disrepute, by failing to properly conduct the election of the Speaker on August 25 2008.

He also said Zvoma unprocedurally and unilaterally deferred the sitting of the House of Assembly on March 22 2011 and showed “disdain” for advice from the Attorney-General regarding the status of the Matobo North constituency.

He further accused Zvoma of having a condescending attitude towards MPs.

Zvoma was represented by Advocate David Ochieng instructed by Edwin Manikai while Chris Mhike & Beatrice Mtetwa appeared for the respondents.

The respondents in the matter were cited as House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo, his deputy, Nomalanga Khumalo, Tshuma, Shepherd Mushonga, Senate President, Edna Madzongwe; Willias Madzimure and Lynette Karenyi.

According to court papers, Zvoma requested the court to issue an interdict to stop his dismissal by voting in terms of section 48 of the Constitution before due process was followed.

He submitted the disciplinary path being used by the MPs was illegal arguing they debated the motion on the same matter despite a court application for an interdict.

He further argued the House of Assembly should not be allowed to “break its own rules, let alone the laws of the country, which it enacts”.

But, the respondents argued the motion had already been adopted and only the House of Assembly could reverse it.

They submitted the urgent chamber application had been overtaken by events, and the relief sought by Zvoma would be unenforceable.

The respondents also argued Parliament followed its own rules and regulations and the House of Assembly was empowered by law and relevant Standing Rules and Orders to debate the matter under present litigation.