By Daniel Nemukuyu
The Constitutional Court has dismissed with costs an application by ex-councillor for Chitungwiza Ward 25 Fredrick Mabamba to nullify his ouster from office. Mabamba was fired for gross misconduct in 2014 and he has since been replaced.
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, sitting with eight other judges of the apex court, slapped Mabamba with costs on a higher scale after he revived an application that had since been thrown out.
The same court in 2014 dismissed Mabamba’s application and blasted his counsel Mr Charles Chikore for gross negligence, which contributed to the failure of the challenge.
The court found that Mr Chikore in his papers had wrongly cited the then Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ignatius Chombo in his personal application.
The court also held that it did not have jurisdiction to nullify election results as sought by Mabamba.
A a new set of lawyers was yesterday back with the same application and the same affidavit from Mabamba seeking the relief that was once dismissed in 2014.
Justice Malaba blasted the new lawyers, Linda Chipato Legal Practitioners, for reviving a dead case and wasting the court’s time.
“The matter was dismissed in 2014,” he said.
“It was not struck off, but instead, dismissed in its entirety. It has now been brought back before us on the same papers with the same relief.
“How does a lawyer who has read the papers in the previous case insist on bringing before the court the same papers?”
Minister Chombo on May 23, 2014 dismissed Mabamba from council after he was convicted of gross mismanagement of council affairs by a disciplinary tribunal. His dismissal had been recommended by a board of enquiry in terms of Section 114(i) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15).
Mabamba argued that the suspension and subsequent dismissal were all premised on Section 114(3) and (4) of the Urban Councils Act, which was at variance with the new Constitution.
He was now seeking an order declaring Section 114(3) and (4) as unconstitutional and wanted the court to reinstate him.
The section of the law he challenged has since been repealed. The Herald