ZANU PF youth league member Sybeth Musengezi has expressed displeasure over the High Court’s delay in hearing a case in which he is challenging the legitimacy of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the ruling party’s leader following the ouster of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.
Musengezi is questioning Mnangagwa’s ascendancy following the November 2017 coup which toppled Mugabe after 37 years in power.
Musengezi filed the application in November 2021 and, to date, a trial date is yet to be set down.
In a letter to his lawyers Ncube Attorneys dated 3 August 2022, Musengezi say the court must set the matter down without further delay.
“I am deeply disappointed with the progress of HC5687/21 and starting to doubt the integrity of the Harare High Court to deal with this matter. After our meeting last week I had to personally inquire with the High Court why the matter is taking too long to be heard and was referred to the High Court Kiosk,” he said.
Musengezi noted missing documents that were supposed to be filed by Federation of Non- Governmental Organisations (Fongo) director Goodson Nguni, who challenged the application.
“I noticed that: In HC4129/22, TK Hove who are representing Goodson Nguni and Fongo may have misled the court in their notice of opposition by claiming that they filed and served Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni with a Notice of Set Down, Heads of Argument and a consolidated index on 10 May 2022 because:
i. The documents have not been found at Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni,
ii. The documents have also not been found at the High
Court Kiosk. There are no soft copies of the said documents in the HC4129/22 folder at the High Court,” he said.
“Upon noticing the anomalies, I checked with the Civil Registry for the hard copies but was referred to the Registrar’s office after a lady named Diza had called the Registry Supervisor Makwata who informed her that the file was of a “security nature”
and they cannot handle it. The Registrar’s office referred me back to the Civil Registry to see one Tigere who said even if I am the applicant in the matter, I cannot access the file but need to be represented because of the sensitivity of the matter. However, I went back to the High Court today with your correspondence lawyers’ representative but also failed to locate or trace the files,” Musengezi wrote.
“We proceeded to TK Hove offices in Hillside so we could get copies of the Notice of Set Down, Heads of Arguments and the Consolidated Index that they claimed to have filed. A lawyer named Kudzi said he cannot give us the copies as he needs to be cleared by his bosses first because the matter is a sensitive one. However, Kudzi and their messenger, one Msaigwa both indicated that “they have also made numerous follow ups with the High Court and finally found the files last week but were asked by the High Court staff to bring in new copies into the files because there were a lot of missing documents in those files at the High Court,” he added.
Musengezi, who says he has been a ruling party member in good standing for over 20 years, has sued Zanu PF for appointing Mnangagwa interim leader through a central committee meeting held on 19 November 2017 at its headquarters in Harare, later ratified by an extraordinary congress on 15 December 2017.
He says the way the meeting was hastily convened, constituted and conducted was unconstitutional and unlawful, hence resultantly Mnangagwa is an illegal leader of Zanu PF. Besides Zanu PF and Mnangagwa, there are four other respondents in the matter.