Chimene revives Mutsvangwa cat-fight

Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene

HARARE – Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has approached the High Court seeking to nullify an order that identified Christopher Mutsvangwa as legitimate leader of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

This comes after the court in February last year barred Chimene from masquerading as the interim or substantive leader of the association.

Justice Happias Zhou also interdicted her from issuing press statements on behalf of ZNLWVA and its leadership.

In her latest move, Chimene said: “This is an application for rescission of judgment granted against me on the 21st of February 2016 in terms of rule 449 of this . . . court on the basis that the provisional order granted was erroneously sought by the respondent and likewise granted in error in my absence by this . . . court.”

The vocal minister claimed she was never served with court papers, including the notice of set down, which culminated in a default ruling against her not to interfere with ZNLWVA affairs.

“I only got knowledge of the existence of the provisional order through press reports and I then approached my legal practitioners of record who advised me that there was a need to launch this present application but they could only do so upon a perusal of the record of proceedings under case number HC 1673/16.

“Efforts were made by my lawyers to get a copy of the record of proceedings from the registrar of this honourable court on the 18th of August 2016, but they were told that the record was a security file which could not be availed to them,” Chimene said in court papers, adding that they later wrote to the judge president seeking his intervention in the matter.

She said she later got hold of the record on August 24 last year, which assisted her in making the current application.

Chimene and Mutsvangwa’s war erupted after the resident minister and her camp passed a vote of no-confidence in the latter.

Chimene claimed to be the interim leader of the association, resulting in the litigation, which was granted in favour of the Mutsvangwa-led administration.

However, she now wants this ruling to be rescinded and allow her to file her opposing papers within five days from the granting of the order.

ZNLWVA — through its deputy chairperson Headman Moyo — has opposed Chimene’s application, arguing she was served with the court papers.

He said he has never heard of a file being classified as a security record, adding that the present application is meant to frustrate the association.

The matter is still pending before the High Court.

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