Court reprieve for Mutsvangwa

MUTSVANGWA AND CHIMENEDaniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
The High Court has barred Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and some other war veterans from masquerading as the interim or substantive leaders of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association. Justice Happias Zhou also interdicted Minister Chimene from issuing Press statements on behalf of ZNLWVA and its leadership.

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This followed a public announcement by Minister Chimene on February 12 this year that she had taken over the leadership of ZNLWVA as its new chairperson. Minister Chimene also announced that a vote of no confidence had been passed against ZNLWVA chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and two other executive members, Cdes Headman Moyo and Victor Matemadanda.

The judge made the ruling yesterday in an urgent matter in which ZNLWVA, led by Cde Mutsvangwa, was challenging Minister Chimene’s interference in the running of the association’s business.

Justice Zhou’s interim order reads:
“Pending finalisation of this matter, the applicant is granted the following relief:

“Respondent be and is hereby ordered not to interfere with applicant’s activities or give pPess conferences with regards to applicant’s activities or give Press conferences with regards to applicant and its leadership.

“Respondent and any other persons acting through her are hereby interdicted from holding themselves out as the interim or substantive leaders of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association.”

However, the court is yet to confirm the final order sought, that Cdes Mutsvangwa, Matemadanda and Moyo were legitimately elected members of the association’s national executive. In the interim, the executive led by Cde Mutsvangwa remains in control pending confirmation of the final order.

Minister Chimene has 10 days to oppose the same order, if she so wishes. Harare lawyers Mr Rungano Mahuni and Mr Tinashe Thomas of Mahuni and Mutatu Legal Practitioners represented ZNLWVA while Minister Chimene did not defend her case.

Cde Mutsvangwa, in his founding affidavit, said his executive was still in charge of the association and that Minister Chimene’s Press statements were reckless. “Since then (February 12), respondent has been making Press statements calling herself and other unidentified war veterans as the legitimate leaders of the applicant.

“The latest of the Press statements is contained in the Herald newspaper of 17 February 2016 wherein respondent is quoted as saying I am under suspension and that she would lead the interim executive as its chairperson.

“It is my firm belief that respondent’s statements to the Press are quite reckless in view of the fact that applicant’s leadership is still extant and fully in control.” Cde Mutsvangwa said in terms of the association’s constitution, an executive member can only vacate office if he or she resigns, if he or she is expelled at a special conference and if he or she misses three consecutive meetings of the committee without excuse.

Of all the three stated reasons cited above, Cde Mutsvangwa said, none apply to his case or those of other “suspended” executives. “There is therefore no legal basis upon which respondent can claim to have taken over applicant’s leadership when no elective congress has been held,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.

In any event, Cde Mutsvangwa said, the association’s constitution does not provide for a “vote of no confidence” and in fact the principle was alien to ZNLWVA.

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  • punungwe

    Right direction VaMutsvangwa. You cannot just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and announce yourself leader of an organization that has a constitution, and an electoral process.

    War veterans went to war, not just for the rule of law but for the fairness of law. People should not be allowed to bring Ian Smith type unfairness (of just making pronouncements affecting the povo without due process) through the back door.

    • g.d

      But they removed JB using the similar style – so called vote of no confidence. Today this judge says its illegal. Its only that the respondent did not defend the case knowingly that His excellency has already dealt with Chris. Mutsvangwa is finished if yu listened to how angry HE was. Its a matter of time

    • KUTAURAMANYANYA

      in another article l read ,it seems to me Cde Shamu myt come back to take over from Mutsvangwa,

  • Sekuru Karikoga

    Too bad Mandi couldn’t pull a fast one ZANU PF Style. Why didn’t she take time to review the organization’s guidelines for removing any executive from a respective position. Who urged Mandi or did she just took it upon herself? So whats next for her in order to save face, This is going to be a tough one to swallow kunge hacha dzakawora.

  • Observer gonzo

    Munangagwa is the Justice Minister…

  • Wemene

    Did Mandi go past Grade 7? All her actions are suspect. These are my views and I am entitled to them. I do not believe in megaphone diplomacy which both Mutsvangwa and Jonathan Moyo use so often but I also think people must show some level of understanding and sophistication when they get into these offices. At least Mutsvangwa and Jonathan Moyo have depth but Mandi and Mahofa are in their own league.

  • Bererashama

    It appears Mandi Chimene is suffering from some serious delusions of grandeur or has caught some contagious malady acquired from another female G40 comrade. After declaring herself leader of ZNLWA using votes from a handful of other illegitimate or imaginary var vets, she now declares herself acting head of Mutare City Council under the equally dubious unilateral authority of Minister Saviour Kasukuwere. About time these G40 fools were cut down to size!

  • G Tichatonga

    lt may well be true that Chimene did not quite follow due process. Revolutions do not follow the beaten path. Mutsvangwa must understand that he can hang on to the chairman by whatever means but remains is just one fact: he is well on his way out. He will indeed get a few sympathisers here and there but ZANU PF will get its man. Mark my words.

    • gutu chitovah

      Jonathan Moyo could have been history by now after that Devil incarnet rant by Bob. But then some forces behind the scenes always go to the old man and feed him with different infor. so instead of firing the person he wont. Believe me his view of Chris today is nw different from that day. so chris is here to stay. if there is any group the old man will not try to mess around with its the war veterans (as a group).

  • G Tichatonga

    lt may well be true that Chimene did not quite follow due process. Revolutions do not follow the beaten path. Mutsvangwa must understand that he can hang on to the chairman by whatever means but what remains is just one fact: he is well on his way out. He will indeed get a few sympathisers here and there but ZANU PF will get its man. Mark my words.

    • Collin Mackenzie

      Totally agree that farm raider must just step aside please.
      Or even better just get rid of him as a minister period and put someone there who will have over ridding power on him.

      This man is holding Zimbabwe to ransom because he went to war.

    • g.d

      well said. Chimene did not bother to waste her money fighting a dead body

  • DAMBUDZO MARECHERA

    We not warvets, but can still resusitate our tattered country. Who is not suffocating?

  • Collin Mackenzie

    What a joke,this tug just needs to step aside or get the boot as a minister period.
    His a danger to the peace and tranquillity of Zimbabwe.
    Of course the court will rule is his favour and we all know why.
    VaMutsvangwa Please go farming enough is enough
    You have failed us the children of Zimbabwe.

  • Gonte

    Chimene ane dzungu too much that woman hana murume here and send her her to Bulawayo we service her ?

  • Chief Legal Adviser

    A legal win is not a political win! The court is limited to litigation landscape for its clients.Mutsvangwa is in politics and has politicised the ZNLWVA towards a certain political trajectory. The wars vets meeting fiasco spoke political volumes, too discordant in his ears.He should show political balls by challenging those more powerful than Chimene, legally speaking.His legal space may appear wide but his political space is limited! He needs support from other stakeholders in politics beyond the court arena and few war vets leaders outspeaking in his favour. The lasting solution would be to use the war vets to influence unity in ZANU PF, not the other way round. The respected ZNLWVA should not be used for parochial politics because that is too divisive. That is Mutsvangwa`s clear challenge. Dialogue among war vet leaders in opposing camps is what is expected from all those Mutsvangwa leads, the silent war vets majority. News on their welfare is paramount! Bellicose relations in government will not benefit war vets welfare,let alone the Zimbabwe population, who should be enjoying the fruits of liberation now and in future!

    • Tekeshuwa

      Who should/must choose leadership for the war vets?
      This question defines whether Mutswangwa has life beyond what the president thinks. The war vets elected Mutswangwa to be their leader. It was not the president who elected Mutswangwa. The president is only a patron by virtue of respect whereas he can not dictate or choose who should lead the war vets.

      • Chief Legal Adviser

        No one said the President should or chooses the war vet leader. But no one should try to use the War vets to further one`s political designs. Remember that ZANU PF as a party created, ZANLA, which today is represented by war vets. The party is supreme over war vets, not the other way.round. Period!

  • yowe

    Hehehe panenge pane mari pachigaro apa. This guy is fighting hard to stay ipapo. Gara ipapo wangu ndopane sadza rako mapenzi will support you kuti udye ivo vaine nzara. The irony of life is depressing