Bhasikiti case urgent, court rules

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Kudakwashe Bhasikiti

The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) yesterday ruled that a case where expelled Zanu PF Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti is seeking to interdict President Robert Mugabe from declaring his seat vacant is urgent.

BY CHARLES LAITON/RICHARD CHIDZA

According to Bhasikiti’s lawyer, Tendai Biti, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku agreed with his client’s argument that the matter should be heard as a matter of urgency.

“The ConCourt has ruled that the matter is urgent and will be heard by the full bench on June 25 which is next week,” Biti said.

“The application is to prevent President Mugabe from calling for a by-election until such time Bhasikiti’s case at the High Court in which he is challenging his expulsion from Zanu PF by the party’s politburo is concluded.”

In his founding affidavit, Bhasikiti said he was alive to the fact that in terms of Section 158 of the Constitution, the by-election must be held within 90 days after a vacancy is declared.

He said Mugabe was obliged to call for the polls once notified by the Speaker of Parliament.

“I believe that it would be wrong and unconstitutional, and indeed a breach of my fundamental rights to protection of the law, if a by-election were to be called for and proceeded upon when my application has not been heard,” he said.

“In any event, the court, in the alternative should consider giving directions so that the application filed in the High Court of Zimbabwe can be heard on an urgent basis.”

Bhasikiti lost his bid to have the High Court case heard as urgent.

He further argued that his constitutional application should be heard on an urgent basis because a by-election to fill his seat might be called any moment.

“If this happens, I will have no alternative remedies under circumstances where quite clearly, the Constitution of Zimbabwe has been breached left, right and centre by the second respondent (Zanu PF) and my rights to due process have been infringed,” Bhasikiti said.

The former Provincial Affairs minister said he believed he had strong prospects of success in his matter in that due process was not followed and that “there was blatant abuse of the law” when Zanu PF expelled him.

Bhasikiti is among a coterie of former Zanu PF stalwarts, among them former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who were expelled from the ruling party on allegations of plotting to oust Mugabe.