...as High Court dismisses magistrate’s elections ruling
Former Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai was recently reinstated as Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) chairperson by the High Court following his appeal seeking the overturning of election results which he argued were rigged.
Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) last year held elections to select the new administrative executive after Chiredzi Magistrate Rogers Mawarire, under court order GL54/19, ruled that elections be held by July 18, 2019.
The elections were held despite protestation by the rival Elisha Tamirepi camp which had sought a court order to postpone elections on the basis that obtaining conditions that time would give the Veterai camp an unfair advantage.
The elections were held at Pore Pore Hall in Mkwasine and were convened by Chiredzi Rural District Council chairperson Edward Matsilele. The Tamirepi camp defeated the Veterai camp by 74 votes to 60 but Veterai disputed the result on the basis of rigging, claiming that non-association members were allowed to vote.
[Read related story here http://www.tellzim.com/2019/07/elections-threaten-to-tear-zsda-apart.html ]
In his High Court submissions Veterai argued that Mawarire’s ruling was compromised as the Tamirepi camp had clandestinely solicited for a favourable ruling.
Veterai also lodged a complaint to the Chief Magistrate’s officer over what he said was Mawarire’s unbecoming behavior.
He then obtained relief from the High Court judge, Justice Neville Wambambo and Justice Sunsley who set aside Mawarire’s judgement and restored the chairmanship to him.
“The point in limine in jurisdiction is upheld and the application be and is hereby dismissed for want of jurisdiction,” reads the High Court ruling.
The Tamirepi camp was ordered to meet the costs of the appeal.
During the time of waiting for the High Court judgement, ZSDA had split into two groups that never missed an opportunity to malign each other.
Veterai said he will now work hard to heal past divisions for the common good of all the organisation’s members.