Sunday 15 May 2022


The court challenge over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy took an ominous turn following last week’s arrest of the Zanu PF activist, who instituted the high profile case.

Sybeth Musengezi, who was arrested last week on charges of fraudulently obtaining a Zanu PF membership card, will return to the Harare magistrates’ court tomorrow for the continuation of his bail hearing.

His hearing has already been postponed twice.

The court was told that Musengezi used fake addresses to obtain the party’s membership card.

Prosecutors argued that six witnesses were likely to testify and that Musengezi was aware of three witnesses, Taurai Mutimbanyoka, Allan Chisokoyo, and one Godknows.

According to court papers, Musengezi enjoyed benefits entitled to Zanu PF members after his alleged fraudulent activities.

Musengezi’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys told The Standard yesterday that Musengezi would appear at the Magistrates Court tomorrow seeking bail.

Last year, the Zanu PF activist approached the High Court challenging Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power in 2017 following the coup that toppled long time ruler Robert Mugabe.

Musengezi is seeking a ruling declaring null and void a November 19, 2017 Zanu PF central committee meeting that confirmed Mnangagwa as the acting party president.

He argued that Zanu PF violated its own constitution when it elevated Mnangagwa and the case has been likened to the Mashavira versus MDC case where the Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that Nelson Chamisa’s takeover from the late Morgan Tsvangirai was null and void.

Chamisa was said to have violated the MDC constitution.

There have been attempts to force Musengezi to drop his case through court applications by people associated with Zanu PF.

Last month, Musengezi told The Standard that there was a plot to arrest him to collapse his case challenging Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.

He also said he was facing death threats.

This was after former Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption commissioner Goodson Nguni filed a joinder on behalf of Mnangagwa even though he was not cited in Musengezi’s court application.

In his affidavit filed on March 16, Nguni claimed that Musengezi had skipped the border and called on the courts to force him to disclose his whereabouts.

Last year, Zanu PF threatened to sue Musengezi’s lawyers to force him to withdraw his court challenge.

Zanu PF secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu argued the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case, claiming that Mnangagwa enjoyed presidential immunity.

He said Musengezi had not exhausted Zanu PF’s internal remedies, in what legal experts argued was an admission that he was a ruling party member.

Sithole told the VOA that “the issue which is unfortunate in all these allegations is that Zanu PF is locked in a dispute arising from Mnangagwa’s rise into power within Zanu PF as contested by Musengezi.

“What is common cause is that there is litigation that is proceeding at the High Court in Harare where Musengezi has challenged Mnangagwa’s ascendancy into power.”

“So, it is the same spirit and allegation that is now being investigated by the Law and Order Section of the police.

“Surely, the police have been weaponised to deal with descents within Zanu PF political party and it is being used to frustrate or harass certain individuals in Zanu PF.”

He added: “The allegations are disturbing. There is no substance in that allegation or those allegations since they are two and it is an unfortunate state of affairs wherein individuals within their political parties will be taking disputes within their parties to the police and the police gladly take them up purporting to be investigating them.

“I was not born during the Rhodesian administration but I think we are quietly gladiating towards that. There is no substance to these allegations. It’s very unfortunate.” Standard


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