The expulsion of former Politburo member Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti from Zanu-PF was due to a vote of no confidence passed against him and the politician has no legal basis to approach the High Court with a review application, President Mugabe and the revolutionary party have said. In an opposing affidavit filed by Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo on behalf of President Mugabe and the party recently, it was argued that a vote of no confidence was not reviewable at law and that the application must be thrown out.
Mr Bhasikiti is challenging the manner in which he was “uprooted” from the ruling party. The former Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs was fired alongside several others on May 21 this year for their alleged involvement in a plot to topple President Mugabe. Through his lawyers, Tendai Biti Law Chambers, Mr Bhasikiti argued that due process was not followed in his dismissal and wants the decision nullified. President Mugabe, in his capacity as Zanu-PF leader, was listed along with the party as first and second respondents, respectively. Justice Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday deferred the hearing to tomorrow to allow the parties to file their heads of argument and relevant court papers. While Mr Bhasikiti argues that his expulsion was a disciplinary measure that required charges to be preferred followed by a hearing, Zanu-PF argues that it was the vote of no-confidence that reduced him to an ordinary Zimbabwean.
Cde Chombo said the expulsion was aboveboard and in harmony with the party and national constitutions. “Applicant was dismissed from the party in terms of the constitution. In particular, it can be gleaned from the constitution of the party that a member may be expelled from the party if a vote of no confidence is passed on him on the grounds of disloyalty or treachery, which is the penalty that was applied to the applicant,” Cde Chombo said.
“A vote of no confidence was passed in the applicant and the national disciplinary committee confirmed this . . . On this basis, his cause of action is completely wrong,” said Cde Chombo. Cde Chombo scoffed at claims by Mr Bhasikiti that all the Politburo members were biased against him. “The claims made herein are not only ridiculous, but show the desperation of the applicant. “To allege that every single member of the Politburo is biased against him cannot reasonably be accepted or sustained,” he said. “The claims herein and the grounds referred to are therefore unequivocally dismissed,” reads the opposing affidavit. Mr Bhasikiti in his founding affidavit argued that his constitutional rights were infringed upon and that the decision should be nullified. “The decision to expel me, taken by the second respondent in a meeting chaired by the first respondent, is null and void. For starters, I was never subjected to the benefit of due process,” Mr Bhasikiti said.
“I was not charged of any offence and have not received any notice of any charge against me. I have not appeared before any disciplinary hearing, I have not given my side of the story. I do not even know why I have been expelled,” reads the affidavit. Mr Bhasikiti said he had a right to be given reasons for the expulsion. He argued that the Politburo that fired him had no authority to make such a decision.
Mr Bhasikiti said the Administration of Justice Act was breached because he was not given adequate notice of the nature of the charges, reasonable opportunity to make representations and adequate notice of right of review or appeal. He further argued that all the Politburo members who decided his case were biased. Mr Bhasikiti argued that his right to due process and protection of the law enshrined under Section 56 (1) of the Constitution was violated. To that end, Mr Bhasikiti is seeking a declaration that his rights were violated. He also argued that his right to administrative justice under Section 68 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe was breached.