Zanu PF October Congress Doubtful
29 August 2022
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Zanu-PF activist Sybeth Musengezi, who last year launched a bold challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy as party leader, has returned to the courts to file an urgent chamber application seeking to stop him from convening a party congress due this October.

Zanu-PF is set to hold its elective congress 26-29 October this year with Mnangagwa looking set to keep his job as the ruling party’s number one.

But the veteran politician has the Musengezi hurdle to clear first.

Musengezi, whose own party membership status has been challenged by Mnangagwa’s sympathisers within the party, is adamant he is indeed a legitimate Zanu-PF member and still sticks by his earlier position that Mnangagwa was not legitimate.

Mnangagwa muscled himself to both Zanu-PF and state leadership after he masterminded a 2017 military coup that removed Zimbabwe’s long time ruler Robert Mugabe.

The coup was followed by a hastily arranged Zanu-PF special session central committee meeting that confirmed the incumbent as new party leader.

But Musengezi, in his court challenge, is adamant the event was illegal in that it was convened in contravention of the party’s constitution.

The activist last year filed a court application seeking a declarer to this effect.

In his latest court challenge, he cited Zanu-PF as first respondent.

Mnangagwa, Obert Mpofu (Zanu-PF secretary for administration) and Patrick Chinamasa (Secretary for Finance) were cited as second to fourth respondent’s while Zimpapers and Herald editor Hatred Zengeni are the fifth and sixth respondents.

“My application undercover of case number HC5687/22 is rooted in a complaint about illegality attendant to the convening, deliberations and resolutions of the Special session of Zanu-PF Central Committee that convened on the 19th of November 2017.

“The basis of my complaint is that the person who convened the said Special Central Committee session had no authority to do so in terms of Zanu-PF’s Constitution.

“The person who presided over the said meeting had no capacity/authority to preside over such meeting in terms of the Constitution of Zanu-PF.

“Zanu-PF’s office bearers therein elected in the said meeting were therefore elected in an unlawful process.

“The resolutions proceeding from the unlawful process of the said meeting were and still remain unlawful,” he said.

Musengezi said he got worried when the Herald on August 22 published that Mpofu, as Zanu-PF secretary for administration, had announced that the elective Congress will be held in October, allowing Mnangagwa to preside over the meeting.

“The persons who intend to convene such meeting, Mnangagwa, Mpofu and Chinamasa are illegal where they stand in that the positions occupied by them are by virtue of the choices made at the impugned 2017 Special Session of Zanu-PF’s Central Committee.

“Thus, if allowed to proceed with the National People’s Congress as envisaged, such effort will still be an illegal outcome,” he said.

The matter is yet to be heard.