A Harare man has challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s appointment of Patrick Chinamasa as director and chairman of Air Zimbabwe.
In his application, Tichaona Mupasiri said Chinamasa’s appointment was unconstitutional as control of the company was vested in an administrator appointed by the minister of justice pursuant in the operation of the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Act 2005.
He said at the core of the application was Mnangagwa’s actions to the affairs of SMM Holdings (Private) Limited (SMM), Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Air Zim) and Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL).
He further argued that his application was concerned about the holding of public office bearers to account for their conduct and ensuring that Mnangagwa’s conduct was subject to public scrutiny and interrogation.
Mnangagwa has since challenged the lawsuit with his lawyers, Dube and Manikai filing opposing papers on Friday and describing the application as incompetent and stillborn.
The president appointed Chinamasa to head the Air Zimbabwe board in June 2019 and Mupasiri says the appointment was wrong and unconstitutional.
In his opposing papers, Mnangagwa argued Mupasiri should have challenged the validity of the Reconstruction Act if he believed it was unconstitutional.
Mnangagwa said the application was incompetent as it related to his alleged conduct before he became President. He said:
A substantial portion of the application relates to the alleged conduct of second respondent, a private citizen. The alleged conduct of second respondent cannot be relied upon in an application of this nature.
The object behind the application is to query certain acts that validly took place in terms of the law. Some of the acts queried stem from valid judgements of the court or have at least received the imprimatur of the courts. A person with such acts cannot bring this kind of application.
Mnangagwa also argued that Mupasiri had no right to vindicate the cause of SMM as he neither identified himself as a shareholder nor an officer of the company.
Mnangagwa accused Mupasiri of relying on impermissible hearsay evidence.
He said Chinamasa, Air Zimbabwe and Hwange Colliery Company should have been given the opportunity to place their own positions before the courts.
Mnangagwa argued that SMM was reconstructed pursuant to a legal process and the reconstruction was confirmed by an order of the court.
Mnangagwa denied that he had anything to do with the reconstruction of SMM and was not even the relevant minister at that stage.
Manikai also called the allegations salacious and false.
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