MDC-T Blocks Chief From Contesting As ZANU PF Candidate
2 June 2018
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Zimbabwean Chiefs barred from politics

By Paul Nyathi|MDC-T  candidate for Shamva South constituency, Leman Pwanyiwa has made an urgent court application asking the High Court to block ZANU PF from fielding acting Chief Bushu, Bramwell Bushu as their candidate in the upcoming elections.

Pwanyiwa who is represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights submitted the application at the High Court on Friday.

According to the court papers, Bushu can not be allowed to take part in the elections as the law in Zimbabwe prohibits traditional leaders from taking part in partisan politics.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and ZANU PF are quoted as the respondents in the case which is yet to be heard by the court.

Pwanyiwa initially wrote a letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa calling on him as First Secretary of the party to remove the chief from contesting elections.

The letter dated May 29 and addressed to Mnangagwa through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Pwanyiwa threatened to file an urgent chamber application for relief should he get no response by May 31.

He said Bushu, who has been Chief Bushu since June 2016 after the demise of his father Show Bushu, had contested in the ruling party’s primary elections on April 29 and in the re-run on May 14, adding that his candidature and membership of Zanu PF was in clear violation of Section 281-2- of the Constitution.

The section prohibits traditional leaders from being members of political parties or participating in party politics, acting in a partisan manner or further the interests of any political party or cause.

“We direct, therefore, that Bramwell Bushu be removed as your candidate for the forthcoming harmonized elections and his membership from your party be revoked,” he said

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Bushu’s actions were prejudicial to their client who was an interested party in the politics of the country.

“This also takes away the right to free and fair elections guaranteed to every member of the public by section 67 of the Constitution,” read the letter, referenced NMC/PIL/18.

Early this month, the High Court in Masvingo ruled against the meddling in partisan politics by traditional leaders after opposition political party leader, Elton Mangoma had approached the court seeking the banning of all traditional leaders from meddling in politics.

Mangoma’s legal challenge came after National Chiefs Council head, Fortune Charumbira, pledged the organization’s support for ZANU-PF after the traditional leaders had received top of the range vehicles from President Emmerson Mnangagwa.