Axed minister tackles Mugabe

HARARE - The High Court hearing of an application by former Masvingo Provincial minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti in which he has dragged President Robert Mugabe to court challenging his expulsion from the ruling party was yesterday deferred to today.

High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu, who is handling the case, postponed the matter to allow parties to file heads of argument.

The postponement will allow Mugabe’s lawyer Terence Hussein to file opposing papers to the application.

Bhasikiti, who was Mwenezi East National Assembly member, was expelled alongside other Zanu PF stalwarts on May 21 for his alleged involvement in a plot to topple President Robert Mugabe.

This resulted in Bhasikiti losing his National Assembly seat after the party wrote to the speaker, Jacob Mudenda, notifying him of the expulsion.

Bhasikiti tried in vain to stop his expulsion from Parliament through an urgent application in the High Court which was, however, dismissed.

Last Thursday, Bhasikiti managed to score a minor victory after Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku issued an order that by-elections for his constituency should not be held before July 31.

Bhasikiti, who is represented by Tendai Biti, cited Mugabe and Zanu PF as respondents, argued that the two parties had blatantly abused his rights.

In the application, Bhasikiti wants the court to review Zanu PF’s decision to expel him arguing his constitutional rights had been breached.

“The decision to expel me, taken by the second respondent (Zanu PF) in a meeting chaired by first respondent (Mugabe), is null and void,” Bhasikiti said.

He said he was not subjected to a due process warranting his expulsion.

“I was not charged of any offence before any disciplinary hearing, I have not given my side of the story… I do not even know why I was expelled,” Bhasikiti said.

He told the court that he had a right to be heard, which right he said was abused.

“In short it is my respectful contention that the respondents’ action is unlawful in that my right to be heard, as guaranteed by the common law, Constitution and the Administrative Justice Act (Chapter 10:28) has been infringed,” Bhasikiti argued.

He accused all the politburo members who handled his case of being grossly biased, adding that the politburo does not have the power to make such a conclusion, which he said was contrary to the Zanu PF constitution.

Bhasikiti argued that a National Disciplinary Committee should have been set up to hear his case.

“I have not been given any opportunity, reasonable or otherwise, of making any representations. I have not been provided with any reasons for the action taken against me,” he said.

He said since August last year, the party was on an onslaught against all members who were perceived to be aligned to the former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s faction, adding that he had been included in that category.

“As a result of this, I have been attacked and fired from government,” he said.

“The responsible persons in the politburo in particular persons like Patrick Chinamasa and others, have been at the forefront of attacking those like myself labelled to be part of the ‘Gamatox’ faction.”

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