An appeal filed by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators and senators, recalled in October by self-proclaimed secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu, has been struck off the Supreme Court roll due to procedural irregularities.
The MPs and senators had been recalled after Tshabangu argued that they had ceased to be CCC members. They subsequently sought relief in the High Court, but their appeal was dismissed. The High Court ruled that they had failed to provide sufficient evidence of their continued membership in the CCC.
Undeterred, they filed an appeal at the Supreme Court. However, their case was dismissed after the court ruled that the respondents had been incorrectly cited.
A bench led by Justice Joseph Musakwa determined that the appeal was improperly filed because other crucial parties had not been cited.
“The court agrees with Mr. Uriri’s argument that the notices of appeal are fatally defective. Consequently, there is no appeal before this court,” stated Justice Musakwa.
The MPs and senators had filed separate appeals to the Supreme Court, despite the High Court’s unitary judgment. The MPs failed to cite the senators in their application, while the senators omitted the lawmakers in their appeal.
Advocate Lewis Uriri successfully argued that this omission constituted a fatal technical error.
“The effect is that the two matters became one so when judgment is rendered one may not undo the consolidation and appeal as if they are two different matters which is what the appellants have done,” argued Uriri.
Advocate Thabani Mpofu, representing the MPs, maintained that the non-joinder of senators did not violate any court rules.
Advocate Amanda Ndlovu, representing the senators, indicated that they still had an opportunity to rectify the procedural error and refile their appeal per the court’s rules.