Mnangagwa challenger targeted by State media

Sybeth Musengezi
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SYBETH MUSENGEZI, the man who is contesting the legality of President Mnangagwa, has been challenged to prove Zanu-PF membership credentials in an application in which a local NGO’s top executive is seeking to be joined in the proceedings as an interested party.

Musengezi, who claimed to be a Zanu-PF youth member, sued President Mnangagwa at the High Court in Bulawayo over the November 2017 Operation Restore Legacy that resulted in the late former ruling party leader and national President Robert Mugabe, resigning.

Through his legal counsel, Musengezi is seeking the nullification of Zanu-PF’s special session of the Central Committee meeting held on November 19, 2017, which elected now President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to be the party and national leader.

Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations (FONGO) and its president Mr Goodson Nguni argue that Musengezi was a mole whose Zanu-PF credentials were questionable.

In the application for a joinder filed at the High Court, FONGO and Mr Nguni are listed as applicants and want to be joined in the legal process, citing direct and substantial interest in the matter.

Mr Nguni is a Zanu-PF cardholder who felt the need to stop a non-member of his political party from abusing court processes in causing despondency in his party of choice.

In his application, Mr Nguni seeks to expose Musengezi’s alleged shenanigans, following investigations to establish his membership status.

The FONGO president argues that pursuant to President Mnangagwa assuming leadership of Zanu-PF and Government as per resolutions of the party structures which Musengezi seeks to impugn, the President was confirmed as President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF by an Extraordinary Congress held in December 2017.

“More than three years later after the third respondent (President Mnangagwa) assumed leadership of Zanu-PF and Government, the first respondent (Musengezi) now mounted a court application seeking to undo the events of 2017 leading to the third respondent’s assumption of leadership in the second respondent (Zanu-PF) and Government,” argues Mr Nguni.

He also contends that apart from the court challenge being moot and has been prescribed in terms of the law, the belated filing of the said court application by Musengezi, betrayed a hidden hand behind all his litigious shenanigans.

In addition, Mr Nguni queried Musengezi’s bona fides of the court application, when he is publicly participating in activities of a political party which is opposed to Zanu-PF, namely Front for Economic Emancipation in Zimbabwe (FEEZ), headed by expelled former Zanu-PF Youth League political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu.

Tsenengamu was expelled from the party for “continued intransigence”.

Mr Nguni says in his application that having heard about the court application filed by Musengezi, he made his own inquiries to establish if he was ever lawfully a member of the ruling party to which he also belonged.

He says he found that his membership cards show that Musengezi was once a member of Zanu-PF at Muzinda 1 District and Mai Chitepo Branch, whereas the other Zanu-PF membership card shows him as a member at Muzinda WaMugabe District and Mai Mugabe Branch.

According to records, says Mr Nguni, Musengezi’s supposed residential address is given as Number 4522 Hatcliffe Extension, Harare.  This property, according to his investigations, is owned by one Taurai Mutimbanyoka. One Midiah Mutimbanyoka of Number 3936 Hatcliffe, whose residential address is also indicated as one of Musengezi’s addresses, refuses to accept that the latter ever resided at her house.

Another man, Allen Chisungo, whose residential address is Number 4315, Garikai, Hatcliffe Extension, Harare, is also used as the residential address for Musengezi in the Zanu-PF registrar for Cell 1 at Muzinda District Hatcliffe Extension. He denies that Musengezi ever resided at his place.

In his application, Musengezi argues that a Central Committee meeting that saw the late former President Mugabe resigning, and installed President Mnangagwa, was illegal.

“Evidence above shows that the first respondent’s assumption of Zanu-PF membership was procured by fraud,” argues Mr Nguni, citing the party constitution that provides that for one to become a member, they shall make an application to the local branch nearest to the place they are ordinarily resident or working.

“In this case, it is clear that the first respondent never was a resident at the purported branch where he applied for Zanu-PF membership.”

He further argues that Musengezi’s active participation in activities of a political party which is opposed to Zanu-PF, which is FEEZ, does not make him a bona fide Zanu-PF member.

“The fact that the first respondent’s founding affidavit is riddled with perjured averments, I urge this court to grant an order of joinder of the applicants such that those critical areas I wish to lay bare to this court, will demonstrate the legality of the third respondent’s assumption of Zanu-PF Presidency and First Secretary of the same.”

Mr Nguni also charges that Musengezi is subject of criminal investigations over his conspiracy together with his legal practitioners, whose role ought to be inquired into as there appears to be unethical conduct on their party in not advising their client of the hopelessness of the court application they filed.

In his application, Musengezi argues that a Central Committee meeting that saw the late former President Mugabe resigning, and installed President Mnangagwa, was illegal.

He argues that former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko should have convened a Special Extraordinary Congress of Zanu-PF that would have decided the lawful position of President Mnangagwa and other top party members.

Source – The Herald