Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The High Court yesterday threw out a review application by expelled former Zanu-PF Politburo member Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti because he had prematurely rushed there without exhausting the available remedies.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu dismissed the application saying Zanu-PF’s constitution clearly indicated that an aggrieved party may challenge expulsion with the Central Committee before approaching the High Court, but Mr Bhasikiti jumped the gun.
“I come to the conclusion that the applicant has prematurely approached this court before exhausting his domestic remedies at disposal,” he said.
“When the applicant joined Zanu-PF, he freely and voluntarily elected to be bound by its constitution. He, therefore, stands fully bound by the party constitution until he has exhausted the remedies provided in that constitution.
“The exhaustion of remedies before approaching the court is a well-known administrative law principle. The mischief behind the principle is to avoid clogging the courts with matters that can be resolved in-house at shop level without the involvement of strangers.
“This court has said time without number that there is need to exhaust domestic remedies before approaching the courts.”
Justice Bhunu threw out the excuse raised by Mr Bhasikiti that he could not approach the Central Committee because President Mugabe chaired both the National Disciplinary Committee and the Central Committee.
He said: “I take judicial notice that the first respondent (President Mugabe) is an educated man who is unlikely to insist on presiding over a case in which he has personal interests.
“This explains why counsel for the respondents (Mr Terence Hussein) submitted that fears could easily be addressed by the first respondent recusing himself as the Central Committee is composed of more than 300 (members).”
Justice Bhunu said the expulsion was done in terms of the party constitution and cited Section 82 of the Zanu-PF constitution which reads: “For the avoidance of doubt, only the National Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to expel a member from the party.”
Justice Bhunu also cited Section 74 of the Zanu-PF constitution which empowers the Central Committee to review decisions of the disciplinary committee.
The section reads: “The Central Committee may, on appeal, or review, confirm, amend or reverse the decision of the National Disciplinary Committee.”
He told the High Court that Mr Bhasikiti wanted outside bodies like the courts to extricate him from his political woes when he could have sought internal remedy.
Mr Hussein said if Mr Bhasikiti had misgivings against anyone, it was within his right to seek for his recusal either in respect of how the party’s national disciplinary committee was constituted or in the Central Committee.