Mnangagwa legitimacy challenger spends week behind bars

HARARE – Sybeth Musengezi, a Zanu PF member who challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy in court has spent a week in custody in what his lawyers say is an abuse of court processes by the National Prosecuting Authority.

Douglas Coltart, Musengezi’s lawyer, accused the NPA of delaying his client’s bail hearing following his arrest on Tuesday last week on accusations of falsifying his address to obtain Zanu PF membership.

Lawyers say the offence, if it is such, is at best a civil matter.

Coltart fumed on Monday: “We have essentially been trying to get him out on bail since he was arrested on Tuesday last week. Tomorrow (Tuesday) it will be a week since he was first detained but the state has been repeatedly delaying the finalisation of his bail application in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to keep him locked up for an extended period of time by maliciously opposing his bail even in circumstances were there are not compelling reasons for denying him bail.”

Musengezi was charged last week by police with fraudulently obtaining Zanu PF membership in 2012 by registering a false address.

His legal team of Coltart and Nqobani Sithole say the charges were a sham to deprive him of his Zanu PF membership and thus his locus standi – the right, ability, or capacity to bring legal proceedings in a court of law – in the Mnangagwa legitimacy challenge.

In a High Court filing last year, Musengezi argued that Mnangagwa was improperly elected to lead Zanu PF following a coup that ousted former leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

Musengezi’s bail hearing is set to resume on Tuesday.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!