MASVINGO - Opposition Renewal Democrats Zimbabwe (RDZ) leader, Elton Mangoma has won a High Court challenge he mounted against recent utterances by National Council of Chiefs president, Fortune Charumbira declaring that traditional leaders must continue supporting Zanu PF.
Masvingo High Court judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze declared that the announcements made by Chief Charumbira in his capacity as head of traditional leaders during the National Annual Conference of Chiefs in Bulawayo 2017 and in January this year at an Indaba in Gweru were unconstitutional in terms of Section 281(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The High Court further banned and prohibited Chief Charumbira and the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs from making further political statements, their involvement or allegiance to Zanu PF on any public forum.
Mangoma was represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) through Matutu and Mureri Legal Practitioners.
The High Court also ordered that campaigning Zanu PF by traditional leaders was unconstitutional and infringement of the applicant who is not to be treated in an unfairly, discriminatory manner on the basis of political affiliation.
The court also ordered the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs to initiate processes towards the establishment of the Integrity and Ethics Committee of Chiefs envisioned in Section 287 of the constitution.
Section 280 of the constitution provides the responsibility of traditional leaders that, among other responsibilities, include performing the cultural, customary and traditional functions.
The ruling follows a similar challenge that was mounted by the Electoral Resource Centre (ERC) in the High Court in Harare.
The court ordered that Charumbira retract his statements and issue an apology via the media in seven days.
The Ministry of Local Government was also ordered to take disciplinary measures against Chief Charumbira.politics