Zvoma wins first round

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High Court judge Justice Francis Bere yesterday ruled the application where Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma is seeking to block debate on an MDC-T motion calling for his dismissal was urgent.

Immediately after the ruling, both parties made representation on the merits of the application and judgment on the matter was reserved for next week on a date yet to be announced.

Chris Mhike of Atherstone, who is representing the respondents in the matter alongside Beatrice Mtetwa, told journalists the ruling by Justice Bere was primarily on the issue of whether or not issues raised in the urgent chamber application by Zvoma were urgent.

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 legislators, walked out of Parliament protesting the alleged procedural irregularities.

Moving the contentious motion on December 6, Hwange Central House MP Brian Tshuma (MDC-T) 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 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 Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo after the Supreme Court had ruled that his election was irregular.

Zvoma had claimed that Moyo had relinquished his Matobo North seat when he became Speaker.

Tshuma accused Zvoma of having a condescending attitude towards legislators.

Zvoma was represented by Advocate David Ochieng instructed by Edwin Manikai of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha.

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