BULAWAYO High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha has overturned the expulsion of three MDC-T Victoria Falls councillors by declaring them legitimate members of the party.
Justice Kamocha also interdicted Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo from sacking them as councillors until all internal party processes have been exhausted.
The ruling was made after the councillors — deputy mayor Norris Nyathi, Rich Mguni (Ward 5) and Robson Salimu (Ward 8) — had approached the High Court seeking an interdict barring Chombo from sacking them and calling for by-elections.
They argued that they were still bona fide members of the MDC-T since the party had not dealt with their appeals against expulsion as stipulated by the party’s constitution.
Chombo, Victoria Falls Town Council (VTC) and MDC-T were cited as the first, second and third respondents respectively.
“Pending the determination of this application, the applicants are hereby granted the following relief: First (Mguni), second (Nyathi) and third (Salimu) applicants duly and severally be and hereby declared lawful members of the third (MDC) respondent and councillor of the second (VTC) respondent with full benefits of their respective membership with the third respondent and offices with the second respondent,” ruled Justice Kamocha on Wednesday.
“First (Chombo), second (VTC) and third (MDC) respondents be and hereby interdicted from respectively (a) removing the applicants or in any way causing the applicants to vacate their respective membership of the third respondent or their positions as councillors of the second respondent; (b) interfering in any way whatsoever with the applicants’ membership of the third respondent or positions as councillors of the second respondent; (c) facilitating the process of election of new councillors in place of the applicants.”
The MDC-T expelled the councillors from the party in December last year after accusing them of voting for Zanu PF councillor Sifiso Mpofu as mayor of the resort town in defiance of a party directive to vote for Margaret Valley.