ZANU PF factional fights spilled into the High Court yesterday when Harare East aspiring parliamentary candidate Mavis Gumbo and acting provincial chairman Godwills Masimirembwa accused national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere of imposing Terrence Mukupe as the party’s sole candidate for the constituency.
BY senior court reporter
In their joint heads of argument filed before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, Gumbo and Masimirembwa also accused Kasukuwere of acting unilaterally without consulting other members of the party’s national elections directorate.
“It is a fallacy and complete misdirection on the facts for the appellant (Mukupe) to allege that his nomination was accepted and/or approved as compliant with the law by the 2nd respondent (nomination court presiding officer Fiona Kurima),” Gumbo and Masimirembwa said.
“These objections against appellant are that he (Mukupe) has not been in the district structures for a period of five years preceding the primaries. At the primaries his name was imposed and he corruptly used money and vote buying and resorted to intimidatory tactics.
“The (Zanu PF) national elections directorate is composed of members of the central committee chaired by the national chairman (Simon Khaya Moyo) or a member of the politburo. Mr Kasukuwere acting alone and unilaterally does not constitute this body. He has no authority to dictate anything to the 1st and 2nd respondent.”
Mukupe last week filed a court challenge after his bid to represent Zanu PF was reportedly withdrawn by Masimirembwa and national administration secretary Ignatius Chombo under unclear circumstances.
“My disqualification is political, mala fide (in bad faith), corrupt and sets a bad precedent in the political arena and is uncalled for. I submit that the rejection of my nomination papers was illegal, malicious and should be set aside,” Mukupe argued.
Mukupe said after his disqualification, he immediately called Kasukuwere who was outside the country, who then appointed an officer to write a letter confirming him as the party’s bona fide candidate.
However, Masimirembwa and Gumbo dismissed Mukupe’s supporting letters dated April 14 and 17 2015 saying they were invalid since he was “lawfully disqualified”.
“The secretary for commissariat (Kasukuwere) has no power or authority to overturn the disqualification of the appellant. Only the national elections directorate has such powers and it never sat meaning that the decision to disqualify the appellant by Harare province remained extant,” the duo said.
“This clearly points to collusion between appellant and his sponsor Mr Kasukuwere. Unfortunately for appellant, his sponsor cannot dictate to the nomination court.”
Justice Bhunu reserved judgment in the matter.