By Lloyd Msipa
Nullification is used as a reason to override or counter the effect or force of something. When an act that is bad at law is carried out, and the adjudicator chooses nullification as a remedy to redress the infraction, it means the parties should go back to their positions they were in before the alleged infraction.
Following the expulsion of the then vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa from ZANU PF, the central committee was compelled to review its previous decision following the intervention of the military. It was agreed that the central committee was to consider all expulsions carried out beginning the year 2014 to date that were carried out without due process.
The decision rendered was to nullify all the expulsions. It meant that all the expulsions were illegal and hence of no legal effect. It gave the option to those that had moved on to form other political parties to return to ZANU PF.
Those affected by this nullification include but not limited to individuals like Temba Mliswa, Christopher Mutsvangwa, Bright Matonga, Joyce Mujuru, Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo and many others.
Nullification as a remedy
So, if we understand nullification as a remedy that involves cancelling something or for example countering the effects of a snake bite with an antidote it means nullification is basically erasing the effects of the first thing.
For example, the expulsion of Temba Mliswa and Christopher Mutsvangwa, Hurungwe west member of parliament and war veterans minister respectively instantly caused their recall from the House of parliament.
It then should be argued that logically the nullification of their expulsions from the party also means that their recall from parliament must by extension be also rescinded. In other words, those expelled from ZANU PF since 2014 to date and where members of parliament, their recall from parliament must also be rescinded in line with the nullification of the illegal process at party level.
Justice Chiweshe Judgement
Following the intervention of the Military in the administrative affairs of Zanu PF, in the process arresting the abuse of executive powers by individuals close to the first family, the High Court of Zimbabwe was approached to pronounce over the legality of this action.
On the 17th of November 2017, Justice Chiweshe ruled that the actions by the “Zimbabwe Defence forces (ZDF) in intervening to stop the takeover of the president’s constitutional functions by those around him was constitutionally permissible and lawful in terms of section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Section 212 of the Zimbabwe Constitution provides that “The functions of the Defence forces are to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and interests and its territorial integrity and to uphold the Constitution”
Vacant Parliamentary seats
By allowing those that where members of parliament before they were illegally expelled from ZANU PF to come back in that capacity, the secretary for legal affairs in ZANU PF will legally be able to fill those vacant seats that would ordinarily be filled through by elections. This of course would give President Emmerson Mnangagwa a larger pool of expertise to draw cabinet ministers from.
The judgement by Justice Chiweshe is in line with the thinking I have outlined above. The intervention by the military has been pronounced as legal in terms of our Constitution. It ratifies the actions of the Generals in correcting a constitutional anomaly.
The Secretary for legal affairs in ZANU PF must also pronounce the rescission of the parliamentary recalls of those individuals that were members of parliament before the expulsion at party level. This can be done in the same way they did when expelling the same, by notifying the speaker of parliament. My thoughts