Home » Governance » Bhasikiti Legal Bid to Safeguard Parly Seat Flops

A bid by former Mwenezi East National Assembly member Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti to bar Parliament from declaring his seat vacant flopped yesterday after the High Court established that the matter had been overtaken by events.

National Assembly Speaker Aocate Jacob Mudenda on Thursday declared the seat vacant after receiving a letter from Zanu-PF disowning Mr Bhasikiti as a representative of the revolutionary party in the House.

The dismissal of Mr Bhasikiti’s case came as Mbire legislator Mr David Butau, who was also expelled from both Zanu-PF and Parliament, filed his papers at the High Court in a bid to secure his rights as a member of the party.

Messrs Bhasikiti, Butau and Ray Kaukonde were expelled from Parliament on Thursday after Zanu-PF disowned them, following their dismissal from the party for their links to a cabal led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru that was angling to unseat President Mugabe unconstitutionally.

In Mr Bhasikiti’s case at the High Court, Justice David Mangota refused to grant his wish to bar Parliament from dismissing him, despite the arguments put forward by his lawyer, Mr Tendai Biti.

Zanu-PF’s lawyer Mr Terrence Hussein said the development amounted to a technical dismissal of the case,after it was noted that Mr Bhasikiti had already been dismissed by Parliament.

“The matter had been overtaken by events because the Speaker had already announced the vacancy,” he said.

“The court then did not grant the order sought, which can technically be viewed as a dismissal of the case.”

Mr Hussein said the court criticised the Speaker for announcing the vacancy without waiting for the finalisation of the case.

He said the court then ordered Cde Mudenda to pay wasted costs in the matter.

Parliament’s lawyer Mr Simplisius Chihambakwe said the case simply collapsed and that the parties only argued on the issue of costs before Justice Mangota.

“We only had to argue on the costs, but it was clear to everyone that the matter had collapsed,” he said.

Mr Biti could not be reached for comment.

Mr Bhasikiti, who is suing President Mugabe and Zanu-PF over expulsion from the ruling party in a separate case, was early this year fired again from Government where he was Minister of State for Masvingo.

He was expelled from the party where he was a Politburo member together with several others after their involvement in a plot to unconstitutionally unseat President Mugabe.

Mr Bhasikiti, in his failed application, contended that Parliament could not act on any letter from Zanu-PF informing it of his expulsion.

He argued that the Politburo that expelled him had no powers to do so in terms of the revolutionary party’s constitution.

In the case of Mr Butau, he filed his urgent chamber application at the High Court on Tuesday in which he listed Zanu-PF, the party’s Secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo and Speaker of National Assembly Cde Jacob Mudenda as respondents.

Mr Butau wants to stop the revolutionary party and Cde Chombo from instructing Cde Mudenda to declare his seat vacant.

In terms of the Constitution, a Member of Parliament shall lose his seat if the member ceases to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament, and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it.

“This is an ordinary application for a provisional order interdicting the respondents from acting pursuant to my alleged expulsion by the first respondent pending my filing of an application that seeks to nullify the alleged expulsion,” said Mr Butau in papers.

“I have a clear right to the membership of the first respondent and the National Assembly until proper proceedings to terminate that membership have been instituted.”

Mr Butau further argued that if he is recalled from Parliament, President Mugabe is obliged to declare dates for by-election in Mbire Constituency.

“A wholly gigantic State and legal machinery will begin to act on those dates and any action I might take might fail to arrest the same and protect my rights,” he said.

Zanu-PF, Cde Chombo and Cde Mudenda are yet to respond to Mr Butau’s application, which is likely to be heard any time next week.

Source : The Herald

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