HARARE – The High Court has handed down a final order, barring Manicaland provincial governor Mandiitawepi Chimene from interfering with the operations of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) and declared Christopher Mutsvangwa the bona fide leader of the organisation.
High Court judge Jester Charewa delivered the ruling yesterday.
The current litigation came about after Chimene and Mutsvangwa were embroiled in bitter fallout last year over the association’s leadership.
This comes after the minister and her camp passed a vote of no confidence in Mutsvangwa, with Chimene claiming to be the legitimate interim leader of the association.
This forced the Mutsvangwa-led ZNLWVA — through its lawyer Tendai Mhlekiwa — to take legal action against Chimene. The High Court first ruled in February last year that Mutsvangwa was the legitimate leader.
The Mutsvangwa-led executive, which comprises secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, spokesperson Douglas Mahiya and deputy chairperson Headman Moyo, was excited yesterday with the ruling, which bars Chimene and her colleagues including George Mlala from interfering with operations of the ZNLWVA.
Since the granting of the interim order by High Court judge Happious Zhou, Mutsvangwa has been in control pending confirmation of the final order subsequently handed down yesterday.
When the interim order was granted, Justice Zhou also interdicted Chimene from interfering and issuing press statements on behalf of the association and its leadership.
“Respondent (Chimene) be and is hereby ordered not to interfere with applicant’s (ZNLWVA) activities or give press conferences with regards to applicant’s activities or give press conferences with regards to applicant (ZNLWVA) and its leadership,” Zhou ruled then in the interim order.
At some point, Chimene approached the High Court seeking to have the same ruling in Mutsvangwa’s favour reversed, but lost the bid to rescind.
Chimene had argued that the judgment was erroneously granted in favour of the association.
“I only got knowledge of the existence of the provisional order through press reports and I then approached my legal practitioners of record who advised me that there was a need to launch this present application but they could only do so upon a perusal of the record of proceedings under case number HC 1673/16.
“Efforts were made by my lawyers to get a copy of the record of proceedings from the registrar of this honourable court on the 18th of August 2016, but they were told that the record was a security file which could not be availed to them,” Chimene said.