President seeks nod to contest ruling
Friday, 17 August 2012 00:58
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe has filed a Supreme Court application seeking permission to appeal against the High Court ruling that allowed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to sue him. Judge President George Chiweshe in June ruled in favour of PM Tsvangirai, allowing him to sue the President in a case he is being accused of unilaterally
appointing the provincial governors countrywide.
The President’s lawyers contend that for one to institute court proceedings against the President, he or she should firstly seek permission from the High Court.
They are relying on Rule 18 of the High Court.
PM Tsvangirai is contesting the appointment of governors arguing that the President could have consulted him before appointing the governors.
On July 24 Justice Chiweshe dismissed an application by the President for leave to approach the superior court contesting the ruling that allowed the PM to sue the President.
That prompted the President through his lawyer, Mr Terrence Hussein of Hussein, Ranchhod and Company, to directly approach the Supreme Court with a notice of motion for leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision.
In the notice filed at the Supreme Court on August 3 this year, the President’s lawyer argues that the decision by the Judge President was wrong.
“The court a quo erred in not accepting that in terms of Rule 18 (of the High Court Rules) and the common law, leave to sue the President should first be sought and granted before instituting legal proceedings against him in the High Court.
“The court erred in not finding that non-compliance with Rule 18 of the High Court Rules, rendered the application before the court a nullity and therefore could not be condoned nor cured,” read the papers.
Rule 18, according to the President’s lawyers, is applicable when the President was being sued both in personal and official capacities.
The lawyers contend that the High Court misinterpreted and misapplied the ruling of a case law in which the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights was allowed to sue the President without the leave of the High Court justice.
Justice Chiweshe in the July 24 judgment ruled that President Mugabe’s chances of winning the appeal case at the highest court in the country were slim considering previous court judgments confirming that the President can be sued without firstly getting authority from the higher court.