Lawyers representing President Emmerson Mnangagwa are allegedly pressing a Zanu PF activist to withdraw a High Court application in which he is challenging the legitimacy of the president’s leadership of the ruling Zanu PF party, according to a local publication, NewsDay.
The privately-owned newspaper reports that Mnangagwa’s lawyers are threatening to sue Sybeth Musengezi’s attorneys if they don’t withdraw the case.
Musengezi, who holds a current Zanu PF membership card, 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.
According to NewsDay, Mnangagwa’s lawyers argue that the case is ““devoid of merit and brought for ulterior motives.
“It is, therefore, advisable for your client to withdraw his application unconditionally at this stage, tendering wasted costs, to avoid further abuse of process and privilege and forcing the respondents to incur additional costs defending this spurious and vexatious matter.”
Mnangagwa’s lawyers, reports NewsDay, have threatened that if Musengezi does not withdraw the case from the High Court they risk paying all the costs from their pockets “on the basis and grounds that your client is facing primarily legal and supremely incontrovertible contestation, proceeding further would be evidence of gross negligence, and with respect, frivolous action in the advice rendered to your client.”
The newspaper also reports that Musengezi’s attorneys were given seven days to consider the proposal “after which it should be treated as having been withdrawn and of no force and effect, unless extended prior to the expiry.”
Efforts to contact his lawyer, Nqobani Sithole, were fruitless as he was not responding to messages sent to him on WhatsApp.
Some of the people cited in Musengezi’s court application are Zanu PF administration secretary, Obert Mpofu, who filed opposing papers early this month, former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Patrick Chinamasa and Ignatius Chombo.
Mphoko and Chombo have not yet filed opposing court papers.