The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) yesterday successfully filed an interdict barring some of its members from claiming leadership of the former freedom fighters’ organisation, saying their move was meant to destabilise the country.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Among those that were interdicted from interfering with ZNLWVA’s activities were Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba, George Mlala, Charles Mpofu, Ester Munyaradzi, Stephen Moyo and Robert Mukwena.
In the High Court application, ZNLWVA said since the organisation was “a flank of the defence forces of Zimbabwe” and “its stability having a bearing on national security”, the respondents’ actions were a threat to national security and stability and accused Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene of being in the forefront.
“It is quite clear that in so conducting themselves, the respondents have no legal right or jurisdiction. In fact, the said Mandiitawepi Chimene, who is purported to be the chairperson of the applicant, was issued with a provisional interdict order restraining her and her accomplices from holding themselves out as the applicant’s leadership.”
In his determination, High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa ordered that pending the finalisation of the matter, Chinotimba and his colleagues should not interfere with the association’s activities or hold Press conferences with regard to it and its lawful leadership.
“Respondents (Chinotimba and his colleagues) and any other persons acting through them are hereby interdicted from holding themselves out as the interim or substantive leaders of the applicant,” Justice Musakwa ruled.
“The respondents and any other persons are ordered to restore access and possession of the applicant’s provincial offices in Manicaland and Midlands provinces forthwith from the service of this order upon them.
“The respondents and all other persons acting through them are interdicted from calling any election within the association or affecting the administration of the applicant.”
The order by the court followed an application filed by ZNLWVA through its secretary for small and medium enterprises, Agnes Siyakurima, who argued that the former fighters’ association members’ conduct was in clear violation of the association’s constitution.
Through its lawyer Rungano Mahuni, ZNLWVA argued its property, confidential communications and many of its valuables in Manicaland and Midlands provinces were under imminent possible risk of being damaged or stolen.
Siyakurima said if the respondents were not interdicted in the manner sought, there was also a real risk that the association would suffer irreparable damage and prejudice to its internal stability and order.
“The respondents’ actions are likely to cause civil strife in that they are calculated to fuel divisions within the applicant’s members,” she said.
Siyakurima told the court, the provincial offices had been taken over and barricaded and could not be accessed by anyone “other than the despoilers themselves”.
The case against the other co-respondents, Patrick Nyaruwata, Future Pariana, Reuben Chikono, Thomas Makambe and Thomas Kunaka, was postponed to August 10 to allow them to go through the application.