Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
WAR veterans have approached the High Court seeking an order declaring the intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to a lawless and chaotic situation created by First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe in the country, as a lawful and justified action meant to defend constitutionalism. ZDF, according to the war veterans, realised that President Mugabe had been captured by his wife and her G40 gang to an extent that he was no longer able to exercise his functions before moving in to protect the nation by weeding out the criminal elements that had positioned themselves around the head of State.
Failure by the President to make key decisions, allowing his wife and the G40 to embark on serious purges in the ruling Zanu-PF had the effect of destabilising the country. To that end, the liberators said, ZDF rightly intervened with corrective measures in the best interest of the President and the nation at large in terms of Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) yesterday filed a court application for declaratory order saying the court should correctly interpret the law and proclaim the legitimacy of the military’s intervention to the dire situation since Tuesday last week.
In the court application, President Mugabe, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, ZDF Commander General Constantino Guvheya Nyikadzino Chiwenga and Attorney General Advocate Prince Machaya were listed as respondents in the official capacities. ZNLWVA also filed a separate urgent chamber application requesting the court to treat the declaration matter with urgency. The court is yet to first rule on whether or not the case should be heard on an urgent basis.
Maunga Maanda & Associates represent the freedom fighters in both matters. In his founding affidavit, ZNLWVA president Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa said the intervention was of national interest considering that First Lady Grace Mugabe had captured President Mugabe and abdicated his functions.
“As an association that brought about the liberation of the people of Zimbabwe, applicant considers the intervention measures to be matters of immense political and constitutional importance and has approached the court for a declaration upholding the validity of the actions of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. The application is accordingly in the national interest . . .
“Recently Grace Mugabe together with a gang going about by the moniker G40 had unfortunately captured the first respondent (President Mugabe). For that reason, he has been unable to execute his functions and has completely abdicated his functions which were now being exercised by his wife and the G40 gang,” reads Cde Mutsvangwa’s affidavit.
The war veterans argued that the military had to intervene because President Mugabe was no longer in a position to make key decisions, a development that resulted in the First Lady and the G40 gang deciding on crucial Government and party matters.
They argued that the First Lady was the one who fired former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru from party and Government with President Mugabe only rubber-stamping. The First Lady is also being accused of masterminding the dismissal of various other officials from the party and Government. “It is public knowledge that Mrs Mugabe went on a crusade against the country’s former Vice President, Dr Mujuru, telling everyone that she was to be ousted.
“The decision was clearly not of the first respondent (President Mugabe). Various office holders in the State and the ruling Zanu-PF have lost their positions simply because of her usurpation of the powers of the first respondent,” reads the affidavit. The war veterans accused the First Lady of coercing people into endorsing her as the country’s Vice President.
At one of the rallies recently, the war veterans said, the First Lady unjustifiably chided and berated President’s spokesperson Mr George Charamba as if she was his employer. The First Lady and her G40 gang also demanded the removal Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa from office on the basis of falsehoods.
“The defence forces intervened because there had been an effective coup, the President of the country was no longer able to execute his functions, but that was now being done by unelected officials around him. In fact, the unelected First Lady was now running Government business to the country’s prejudice,” reads the affidavit.
Cde Mutsvangwa said he was prepared to play video footages which show the havoc that had been caused by the President’s wife and her G40 gang. An order of the court declaring the actions of the ZDF constitutional was important under the circumstances considering a press statement that was last week issued by Cde Simon Khaya Moyo describing the intervention as treasonous.
“The Despite the necessity for such intervention, a senior Government minister, a Mr Simon Khaya Moyo announced that the actions of the ZDF could amount to treason. Those are hard words. They have the effect of destabilising the country. It is important that this court states that the action is permissible. For the comfort of the people of Zimbabwe, her neighbours and the international community, a declaration on the validity of the actions of the ZDF ought to be issued,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.