WASHINGTON DC —
A Harare High Court judge on Thursday dismissed an application filed by former Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who was challenging his expulsion from Zanu PF in May this year.
Judge Chinembiri Bhunu ruled that the former Mwenezi legislator should have exhausted internal remedies before rushing to the courts.
The judge said Bhasikiti should instead appeal to Zanu PF’s Politburo and the Central Committee for recourse. Although Bhasikiti had argued that President Robert Mugabe, who chairs both organs of his party, was an interested party and as a result he would not get a fair trial, the judge ruled that Mr. Mugabe could recuse himself and allow other members of the two committees to hear Bhasikiti’s case.
Mr. Mugabe’s lawyer, Terrence Hussein, welcomed the court’s decision.
But Bhasikiti’s attorney Tendai Biti said he was instructed to take up the matter with the Constitutional Court of Appeal.
Bhasikiti was expelled from Zanu PF on allegations of plotting together with former vice president Joice Mujuru and others to topple Mr. Mugabe.
Mrs. Mujuru, Bhasikiti and others linked to the alleged plot have all dismissed the allegations as frivolous.
In other court news, Justice Bhunu also ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to act within the confines of the constitution in the execution of its duties following an application filed by Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa seeking an order compelling the electoral body to take full responsibility of the voter registration exercise.
Bhunu also ruled that the electoral body could not be barred from using voters’ rolls compiled by the Registrar General’s Office before the adoption of the new constitution saying there was no law that barred ZEC from doing so.
In the June 10 parliamentary by-elections, ZEC conducted its own voter registration exercise although some opposition parties and independent candidates that contested in those polls raised concerns with the voters’ rolls.