Monday, 9 February 2015

Courts cannot determine Mutasa fate

Zanu-PF members facing disciplinary action are wasting their time by seeking court and external adjudication as the revolutionary party has clearly laid-down channels to deal with its internal issues, secretary for legal affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa has said.

Cde Chinamasa’s remarks come in the wake of a plan by former Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa to seek the nullification of the outcome of the party’s 6th National People’s Congress through the courts.

Mutasa – who was relieved of his duties in Zanu-PF and as Presidential Affairs Minister after he was linked to a cabal that sought to oust President Mugabe and install then Vice-President Joice Mujuru in his stead – is also pushing for reinstatement.
Courts cannot determine Mutasa fate
He has so far written to Sadc and the African Union with the same futile plea.

Ironically, President Mugabe chairs both organisations, which, according to protocol, deal with member states and not individuals.

Last month, Zanu-PF’s Politburo set up a six-member National Disciplinary Committee to look into Mutasa’s belligerent behaviour and the subsequent recommendation by his home province, Manicaland, to expel him from the party.

The committee is chaired by VP Phelekezela Mphoko and also comprises First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe (Secretary for Women’s Affairs); Cde Chinamasa; Cde Saviour Kasukuwere (secretary for the commissariat); Cde Kembo Mohadi (secretary for security) and Cde Pupurai Togarepi (secretary for youth).

Cde Chinamasa told The Sunday Mail that Zanu-PF’s system subjects all members to disciplinary action from their peers, and any aggrieved members have a right to appeal if they are not satisfied with disciplinary committee’s decisions.

He pointed out that the National Disciplinary Committee was not tailored to solely deal with Mutasa’s case but other matters as well.

Further – Cde Chinamasa explained – cells, branches, districts and provinces have disciplinary committees that consider cases under their respective jurisdictions and the aggrieved are free to seek redress via the National Disciplinary Committee.

If again dissatisfied with the outcome and/or decision of the NDC, party members can appeal to Congress – Zanu-PF’s highest decision-making organ.

This, therefore, means that Zanu-PF has solid structures to deal with disciplinary issues without seeking interference from the courts, Sadc and AU, said Cde Chinamasa.

“A political party is formed to advance, promote, and propagate specific causes, interests, values, policies and programmes. Those whose hearts have been won by the party have a responsibility to defend the programmes and policies all the time and it requires members to be disciplined.

“It follows that internal discipline rests with party members. Any person who is in breach or violation of the policies and values of Zanu-PF must be disciplined by his/her peers. It’s nonsensical for outsiders to be brought before internal discipline of the party.”

He added: “No court of law has jurisdiction to decide party programmes and who should be in positions. Leaders are elected by party membership and not by the courts. Therefore, any attempt to resort to the courts is an exercise in futility because we cannot have outsiders coming to decide who should be in what position.

“Judges cannot be arbiters in issues concerning members. This puts to rest any suggestion that Zanu-PF will look at outsiders for adjudication in matters related to disciplinary action against its members. Any suggestion to that notion is nonsense.”

Cde Chinamasa said the determination in Mutasa’s case would be made known once work on the matter was concluded.

Mutasa and his co-conspirators drafted the court challenge against Zanu-PF with the assistance of former Attorney-General Mr Sobusa Gula Ndebele and Mr Addington Chinake, a senior partner at Kantor and Immerman.

The application – which failed to be taken up by an advocate and instructing lawyers – raises several frivolous arguments ranging from alleged defamation to alleged unlawful removal from office.

Instructing lawyers are required when a case involves an advocate.

It was reported that Mr Gula Ndebele and Mr Chinake were frantically searching for a law firm that would adopt the case and a willing advocate.
Source: Courts cannot determine Mutasa fate – The Sunday Mail
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