8 June 2018

Zimbabwe: New Twist to 'Acting Chief' Election Contest Saga

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Lawyers representing Leman Pwanyiwa, an aspiring opposition legislator on Thursday 06 June 2018 withdrew an application filed in the High Court seeking to bar "Acting Chief" Bramwell Bushu from contesting as a ZANU PF party candidate during the forthcoming 2018 elections.

During a hearing conducted on Thursday 07 June 2018 and presided over by High Court Judge Justice Amy Tsanga, it emerged that Bushu was pretending to be an "Acting Chief" in terms of the Traditional Leaders Act when he had not been appointed as required by the law.

In opposing papers filed in High Court in response to an application filed by Pwanyiwa's lawyers Lizwe Jamela and Noble Chinhanu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Bushu admitted that Acting Chiefs must be appointed by the president.

In his sworn statement, Bushu also lamented that although he performed the duties of his late father of a traditional leader and was being addressed by his subjects as "Acting Chief", he had never been "an Acting Chief at law".

During the time that he was masquerading as an Acting Chief, he was presiding over matters that had been brought before Chief Bushu Court in Shamva. This was despite the fact that he knew that he had never been appointed as required by the Act.

It was clear from his opposing papers that Bushu had no authority to preside on any of the cases and to ask people to pay fines in the forms of livestock such as cattle and goats.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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