Sybeth Musengezi, who is challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership of the ruling Zanu PF party, is expected to hand himself to the police today.
In an interview, Musengezi’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole said, “We are not sure why the police want him to talk to them.”
Some ruling party activists and people cited in the court case have urged Musengezi to drop the case or face unspecified action.
According to Musengezi, who filed a High Court application seeking an order for the removal of Mnangagwa from the post of Zanu PF first secretary, police are being used by the state to force him to drop the case.
Sithole of Ncube Attorneys told VOA Zimbabwe Service recently that Detective Assistant Inspector Nyazama of Harare Central Police Station, who recently visited Musengezi’s inlaws in Budiriro, Harare, did not responded to a letter sent him requesting information about their charges to be laid against the Zanu PF activist.
Sithole said, “We know for a fact that the matter is before the High Court of Zimbabwe in Harare and that Zanu PF together with other respondents filed their heads of arguments. We had a shock of our lives when we were informed by Sybeth Musengezi that officers from the Law and Order Section in Harare went to his in-laws in Budiriro looking for him on an unspecified charge.
“We were advised by the client that he was not there at that particular time and we have since written a letter to the police to enquire on the veracity of the allegations that our clients is supposed to be facing and we have also made an undertaking that if they want us to present him we shall gladly do so, so that he faces those allegations. But one thing for a fact that concerns us is the use of state machinery in the process of intimidating our client.”
He said as Musengezi’s attorneys, they strongly believe that there is nothing criminal about whatever is taking place “but this is a way of intimidating him so that he breaks down and withdraws this matter.”
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was unreachable for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone. VOA Zimbabwe Service was also unable to reach Mnangagwa’s lawyers for comment.
Mnangagwa’s lawyers are allegedly pressing Musengezi to withdraw the High Court application in which he is challenging the legitimacy of the president’s leadership of the ruling Zanu PF party.
The lawyers say they will sue Musengezi’s attorneys if they don’t withdraw the case. They have also claimed that he is not a ruling party member.
But Musengezi holds a current Zanu PF membership card. He argues that Mnangagwa was not properly elected when the party’s Central Committee held a meeting in 2017, a few days before the late former President Robert Mugabe was toppled in a defacto military coup.