HARARE – The High Court yesterday threw out Manicaland provincial governor Mandiitawepi Chimene’s application in which she sought the nullification of an order that identified Christopher Mutsvangwa as Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA)’s legitimate leader.
Judge Davison Foroma dismissed the application with costs after Chimene failed to appear in court.
Foroma refused to postpone the matter, despite an application by Chimene’s stand-in lawyer Joshua Chirambwe for condonation.
Chirambwe told the court that his instructions were simply to postpone the matter, to allow the lawyers to instruct an advocate to handle the matter.
Although the association’s lawyer, Tendai Edmore Mhlekiwa, had agreed to the application for postponement, the court ruled that the matter must proceed.
Chirambwe excused himself from the proceedings, arguing that he had no further instructions past the application for postponement, leading to an order being granted in default against Chimene.
“Applicant (Chimene) being in default, it is ordered that the application be and is hereby dismissed with costs,” Foroma said.
This comes after the High Court in February last year barred Chimene from masquerading as the interim or substantive leader of the ZNLWVA.
Justice Happias Zhou also interdicted Chimene from issuing press statements on behalf of the association and its leadership.
Chimene had applied for rescission of the judgment granted on the basis that the provisional order granted was erroneously sought by Mutsvangwa and likewise granted in error in her absence.
She claimed she had not been served with court papers.
“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,” she said. Chimene told the court that a ruling against her was made in error, because there was no proof of service in the record, adding that the ZNLWVA “fraudulently” sought a default judgment against her.
However, the organisation, through its deputy chairperson Headman Moyo, had opposed her application, arguing that she was served with the court papers.
“The Sheriff attempted service on the applicant’s place of business but the applicant’s workmates refused to accept service of the notice.
“The Sheriff, however, proceeded to serve the notice by affixing the same on the outer principal door which is proper service in terms of the rules of this court,” Moyo said, accusing Chimene of misrepresenting facts to the court.