Justice Tawanda Chitapi, a judge of the High Court, has issued an injunction preventing Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the interim secretary general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), from carrying out any more recalls of CCC legislators, senators, and councillors.
This ruling brings relief to the CCC, which has been embroiled in a bitter internal dispute resulting in multiple recalls of its elected representatives.
Since October 2023, Tshabangu has withdrawn many CCC representatives, including members of the National Assembly, Senate, and local authorities, alleging that they are no longer affiliated with the party.
The CCC has questioned the legality of Tshabangu’s actions, contending that he lacks legitimate authority as a representative of the party.
In his ruling, Justice Chitapi agreed with the CCC’s position, stating that Tshabangu’s actions were “unlawful and invalid.”
The ruling will likely bring an end to the wave of recalls that has plagued the opposition party in recent months.
CCC recently sued Tshabangu, interdicting him from purporting to be representing CCC in any forum.
On Tuesday, Obey Shava, the lawyer representing CCC told Pindula news that: “CCC as a political party sued Sengezo Tshabangu it filed a summons on the 20th of October 2023 interdicting him from purporting to be representing CCC in any forum.
“That action is still pending. In the meantime, he then issued some letters to the speaker of parliament and the minister of local government recalling purportedly some CCC members that has necessitated us to file an urgent chamber application interdicting everyone from those recalls pending determination of the main matter.
“So today (Tuesday) we appeared before Justice Chitapi and Sengezo Tshabangu sought a postponement so that he has time and opportunity to file his opposing papers and in the interim, the High Court has suspended any further recalls pending the disposition and the hearing of that urgent chamber application…no more further recalls pending determination of the urgent chamber application,” Shava said.
Despite the High Court’s ruling, 18 CCC parliamentarians were still expelled on Tuesday afternoon.
In response to the recalls, National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda held a chamber conference with representatives from both the CCC and ZANU PF and he stated that he would take action if he received a written order from the opposition and its lawyers.
Mudenda said: “I have not received from any representative of the Citizens Coalition for Change Political Party a copy of that Order.
“Once that Court Order is received and states what you are saying, in terms of the law, the Court Order will supersede the recall accordingly. So, as soon as I get that, I will act in terms of the Court Order,” he said.