Innocent Ruwende Senior Court Reporter
DEPUTY Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara has approached the Supreme Court contesting the High Court ruling to grant Professor Welshman Ncube the MDC presidency.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha on Thursday granted an application by Prof Ncube to interdict Prof Mutambara from acting as both party president and principal to the GPA.
The appeal effectively suspends the lower court's ruling until the Supreme Court hands down its determination.
Justice Kamocha ruled that basing on the final order sought, Prof Mutambara was no longer MDC president.
He said the party was justified in launching the application to restrain Prof Mutambara from persisting with his behaviour.
Justice Kamocha said the outcome of the party congress remains valid until and unless it was set aside by a court of law.
He said the balance of convenience clearly favoured the applicants.
Through his lawyers, Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni, Prof Mutambara filed his appeal yesterday at the Supreme Court without
seeking leave to appeal.
In his notice of appeal, Prof Mutambara set out his grounds to nullify the lower court's decision and listed MDC and its secretary-general Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga as respondents.
He argues that the lower court erred in accepting the respondents' evidence in light of the disputes he raised.
"The appellant, among other things, denied interfering with the organs or structures of the MDC. The court a quo erred in confirming the provisional orders amended," argues Prof Mutambara.
"There were no facts supporting the amendments which amendments were made during the proceedings and without proper notice to the appellant."
He also argues that the court had erred in holding that he was to be interdicted from attending any meetings of the inclusive Government or regional and international bodies in the capacity of a principal in the inclusive Government.
The court, he says, also erred in holding that his being a principal was related to the current president of the MDC.
The DPM says there were no facts placed before the court where he performed functions or powers vested in the president of the MDC.
He further argues that given the historical context of the "so-called" inclusive Government and various claims to the leadership of the MDC, a principal in the inclusive Government did not refer to the current president of the MDC.
It is also Prof Mutambara's argument that MDC and Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga had no right to any leadership elected at the congress.
"The court failed in not properly articulating what irreparable harm appellant was causing to the party. The court a quo also erred in holding that the MDC president equated to a principal.
"The word principal was not defined in the GPA. It is submitted that in this context of the GPA and inclusive Government, principal refers to the persons who signed the GPA."
He submitted that in light of the disputes in the matter, the court had erred in declaring that he was not the MDC president.
He wants the superior court to set aside the lower court's decision.
MDC, through Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga, had sought ratification of an interim relief granted on February 11 this year.
The party further sought that Prof Mutambara be interdicted from attending any meeting of whatever description of the principals in the inclusive Government or any regional or international body as a principal.
It also wanted him interdicted from exercising any function or power vested in the president of the MDC or principal in the inclusive Government and that he not be declared president of MDC and pay the costs of the suit.
The respondents will file their response within 14 days once Prof Mutambara files the actual appeal.