'Kambarami has a string of legal battles'

'Kambarami has a string of legal battles'
Published: 17 July 2019 (138 Views)
1893MRM lodged a case against Tinashe Kambarami following the 31 July 2018 Zimbabwe harmonized national and municipal government elections. The movement had discovered that Mr Kambarami, the councilor for Bulawayo Ward 3 was a convicted thief owing to a case where he  was sentenced by a Bulawayo court of justice and fined  for stealing an electric cable.

Kambarami also had a string record of legal battles including by creditors who were claiming tens of thousands of dollars. The movement was worried that having such dishonest people at the helm of the city would rattle residents especially given the scandals of the land grabing by previous councilors.

1893MRM therefore through its lawyers Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners took to the courts to have Kambarami's election declared null and void since he failed to declare his criminal record to the nominating committee for councilors within his own party MDC Alliance prior to the election date. This failure to disclose his conviction was an act of electoral fraud against the voters as well as against the electoral laws governing nominations to public office in the city of Bulawayo.

Kambarami was aware of the implications of such disclosures and hid the facts, leading him to hold office as both Ward 3 Councilor and eventually Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo.
 
1893MRM lawyers lodged the case with the High Court on 26 December 2018, the respondents being Mr Kambabrami as 1st respondent, Bulawayo City Council as 2nd respondents, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as 3rd respondents and Movement for Democratic Change – Alliance as 4th respondents. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents did not oppose the Movement's application and therefore it was left for Kambarami to defend his case alone and without the support of the other respondents in court.

On July 15 2019 the High Court of Bulawayo set an all day hearing to try the Kambarami electoral fraud case.

The court room was packed and protestors from across the nation were dancing and chanting slogans some carrying posters denouncing the legitimacy of Kambarami and calling for the courts to annul Kambarami's position of office.  Inside the court Kambarami's lawyers tried to argue their case on the basis of technicality questioning the jurisdiction of the High Court and the Judge sitting the hearing, but that argument was overruled by the Court and the case continued with the judge advising that the case will base on merits and nothing else.

Kambarami was represented in his plea by Samp Mlauzi and Partners – his courtroom lawyers being  Maqhawe Ndlovu and Messes Dickson Moyo while the courtroom lawyer for 1893MRM was Godfrey Nyoni. The Judge was Judge Mabikwa.

In arguments 1893MRM through their lawyers argued that they are not seeking to have the courts to dismiss Kambarami from the council but on contrary they are declaring his election a nullity. The judge used a case where a certain woman used her relative's certificates to gain entry into the university of Zimbabwe and subsequently graduated and got employment as a teacher. When the fraud was discovered as much as the university of Zimbabwe would not withdraw the degree , the employer dismissed the woman for not having the foundation in this case 5 O levels to qualify for the position.

1893MRM further used an analogy of someone who was being disqualified from a swimming race but still jumps into the swimming pool . The disqualified candidate is not considered regardless of the outcome in the race.  Kambarami lawyers countered with Urban councils act 141 says a tribunal is set up to dismiss a councilor who has been sentenced to 6 months or in prison. Judgment for the case was reserved. A ruling is expected anytime within 14 days of the date of the hearing.

Hundreds of Bulawayo residents convene outside the Bulawayo High court as early as 8AM and were still singing outside the court after 6:40 PM when the courts were adjourned. This was despite heavy police presence which the authorities had facilitated in the streets due to an expectation of possible crown violence in the streets. The crowds were generally peaceful and non-violent.

The Bulawayo city council debacle appears to have united Mthwakazi people of late. In a recent incident, last week, Mr Kambarami as acting mayor unsuccessfully and unprocedurally tried suspending the town clerk Mr Dube. Mayor Solomono Mguni who censured Kambarami for acting outside his powers reversed the suspension. The incident incensed residents who immediately took to city hall in protests and some councilors were assaulted in melee. 1893MRM believes in use of constitutional and legal means to fight injustice.

1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement is a Zimbabwe registered Trust whose activities are mandates are set on the interests of restoring Mthwakazi culture and heritage as well as restoring justice and sovereignty of social, economic and political rule and control by abaThwakazi within Mthwakazi region.

- 1893MRM

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