BY XOLISANI NCUBE
A Bulawayo High Court Justice Martin Makonese has dismissed a bid by Zvishavane-Mberengwa mining association to have the election of Henrietta Rushwaya as president of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) overturned after he ruled that the application was not urgent.
The Zvishavane-Mberengwa Mining Association (ZMMA) filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking to bar her from representing the interests of ZMF after she had appealed to the Supreme Court against a recent
High Court order which stripped her of the presidency of the small-scale miners’ body.
Justice Makonese sitting in Bulawayo ruled that the chamber application was not urgent and should be dismissed with costs.
“It is my view that the application before me is not urgent. In any event the order sought in the draft order is not competent as it is not supported by the averments in the founding affidavit,” ruled Justice Makonese last week.
“In his submissions, Mr Tavengwa (representing ZMMA), appearing for the applicant sought to argue that the application for leave to execute pending appeal was not being pursued at this stage and that the only relief sought is for an interdict. It was clear that not much thought was put in preparing and filing this application.”
ZMMA had rushed to the High Court seeking an interdict to bar Rushwaya from performing her duties as president of ZMF pending the finalisation of her appeal by the highest court.
Rushwaya lost the presidency of the association after the High Court declared that the results and proceedings of the elections, which brought her to the helm of the small-scale miners’ body, were invalid. She was, however, then elected ZMF president in June last year, but a group of small-scale miners under the ZMMA challenged her election.
In a case filed at the High Court in Bulawayo, under case number 1652/18, the miners accused Rushwaya of using “unorthodox” means to take over the ZMF leadership.
But the judge said despite the ruling by Justice Nokuthula Moyo, which overturned Rushwaya’s presidency had been appealed against; the matter was not before the Supreme Court.
“The applicant (ZMMA) indicates that this court must grant an interdict essentially regarding the same dispute. This approach smacks of abuse of court process.
“Such conduct should be discouraged. The respondent has been put out of pocket in opposing this claim. Respondent is entitled to recover their costs in full. In the result, the application is dismissed with costs on an attorney and client scale. In the result, the application is dismissed with costs on an attorney and client scale.”
ZMMA was represented by Mutuso, Taruvinga and Mhiribidi Attorneys, while applicant’s legal practitioners Messrs Antonio and Dzevetero acted on behalf of Rushwaya.