WASHINGTON DC —
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has given Zanu-PF until Friday to file opposing papers in a case in which expelled Bikita West National Assembly member, Munyaradzi Kereke, is seeking to overturn his expulsion from parliament.
This was after the judge ruled that the case was to be heard on an urgent basis.
Kereke, the former advisor to the Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, was disowned by Zanu-PF after he went ahead to contest the Bikita West parliamentary seat when the party had endorsed its preferred candidate, Elias Msakwa, who he beat in the 31st July polls.
Kereke filed a certificate of urgency in the Supreme Court on Tuesday arguing that since his seat had been declared vacant by the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, a by-election could be heard anytime soon.
MDC-T has indicated that it will field a candidate, most likely Heya Shoko, to contest the seat. Heya lost in the July polls and the newly-launched National Constitutional Assembly party has also said it will use the seat to test the political waters.
Justice Chidyausiku set next Wednesday as the date for hearing the case.
Kereke’s defence is that he contested the election as an independent after the party had already expelled him and there was no time for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to remove the Zanu-PF logo from ballot papers.
We reached independent commentator, Brilliant Mhlanga, who argues that Kereke is being used as an example of how Zanu-PF will deal with dissenters.