18 September 2012

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai to Contest Marriage Licence's Cancellation

Photo: Fikile
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

LAWYERS representing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Ms Elizabeth Macheka say their clients intend to seek review of last Friday's cancellation of a marriage licence by a Harare magistrate.

Mr Innocent Chagonda of Artherstone and Cook law firm said his clients would also appeal against the decision by High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu in dismissing an urgent chamber application to suspend the lower court's ruling.

Mr Chagonda is instructing Advocate Thabani Mpofu in the matters.

Harare provincial magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi on August 27 issued a marriage licence to PM Tsvangirai and Ms Macheka.

But last Friday, the same magistrate revoked the licence after Ms Locardia Karimatsenga convinced him that she was already in a customary marriage with the PM.

Justice Bhunu at 2am on Saturday threw out an urgent chamber application to suspend the magistrate's decision and to allow the wedding to proceed.

Mr Chagonda said he was working on the appeal papers.

"We are going to appeal against the High Court decision in the Supreme Court. At the same time we are preparing paperwork to take the magistrate on review at the High Court," said Mr Chagonda.

The lawyer did not give details of the appeal and review application.

"Without getting into the details, we believe the judge (Justice Bhunu) erred for not setting aside the decision of the magistrate.

"We feel it is important for the Supreme Court to clarify the law on this very important aspect."

Mr Chagonda said the applications would be filed soon.

"The appeal and the review application will be filed soon. We are finalising the paperwork and as soon as we are done, the papers will be filed with the respective court. We still have 15 days to file the appeal and it will be filed anytime from now," he said.

Adv Mpofu - who is leading the legal team for the PM and Ms Macheka - cited three grounds upon which the application for review was premised.

He cited gross irregularity in both the proceedings and the ruling.

Adv Mpofu alleges gross unreasonableness in the decision as well as bias and malice on the part of the magistrate.

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