Appeal thrown out as lawyers dump Mutasa

Didymus Mutasa

Didymus Mutasa

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Expelled former Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa (pictured left) was ditched by his lawyers midway through his appeal challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for the Headlands constituency by-election. The appeal was subsequently thrown out last week. Mutasa was also in no show at the Electoral Court.

His lawyers, Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Practitioners, abandoned him midstream before the hearing last week and efforts by the Sheriff’s office to serve him with a notice of set-down were in vain.

Reliable sources close to the matter said Mutasa’s lawyers renounced agency without giving reasons in a letter deposited at the Electoral Court recently.

“The letter from the lawyers was filed with the Electoral Court,” said the sources. “Attempts by the Sheriff (MacDough Madega) to serve Mutasa at his home failed after he refused the Sheriff entry into his home. He said he will not accept the notice of set-down for his appeal from the Sheriff.”

Contacted for comment Mr Tafadzwa Mugabe of Nyakutombwa, Mugabe law firm, confirmed that they abandoned Mutasa.

“We renounced agency before the hearing of the appeal, but we are not at liberty to disclose why,” said Mr Mugabe.

Mutasa and his nephew Temba Mliswa (former Hurungwe West MP)were expelled from the revolutionary party thus automatically losing their Parliament seats before President Robert Mugabe set June 10 as the date for the by-elections.

Zimbabwe Election Commission (Zec) provincial officer Moffat Masabeya, rejected Mutasa’s nomination on a Zanu PF ticket on the ground that the former legislator’s papers were not supported by a letter from the ruling party.

Mutasa then challenged the decision at the Electoral Court.

The appeal was set for hearing on Thursday last week, but neither Mutasa nor his lawyers showed up at court.

This prompted Zec lawyers Mr Tawanda Kanengoni of Nyika, Kanengoni and Associates to apply for a default judgment against Mutasa, which was granted.

“We went to court on Thursday and we obtained a default judgment against Mutasa because he did not come to court and argue his appeal,” said Mr Kanengoni.

Justice Tendayi Uchena granted the ZEC application, sealing the former legislator’s fate to contest in the upcoming by-elections.

Mutasa, who was accusing ZEC of politically persecuting him, recently lost a constitutional application at the apex court seeking to overturn his expulsion from both Zanu-PF and Parliament.

In his application, Mutasa was challenging the Zanu-PF constitutional amendments and the outcome of the watershed 6th National People’s Congress held in December last year, claiming it was a legal nullity.

He was fired as Presidential Affairs Minister for working with former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru’s putschist cabal that sought to depose President Mugabe from power.