By Helen Kadirire
Zanu PF’s legal team is yet to come up with the bill of costs in the presidential suit they won at the Constitutional Court in August last year against Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa.
In an interview with the Daily News this week, team leader Canaan Dube of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha said the process needed to be treated delicately.
The finalisation of the bill comes as Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana had indicated that the party wants Chamisa to fork out $3 million for the Constitutional Court challenge.
“No, we have not yet finalised the bill of legal costs as we are still in talks. The process does not need to be rushed because it requires that we treat it with the sensitivity it needs,” Dube said.
He emphasised that everyone involved needs to be on board in the quantification and it will take some time.
After winning the legal battle, Mangwana indicated that their bill excluded the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s bill but would have to be approved first by the Registrar of the Court
“Lawyers charge according to the number of hours they spend on a case. You will appreciate that a humongous amount of hours were spent on this case because of its high profile nature and also because of the need to ensure that everything was on point.
“The amount has to be in line with the prescribed rates which lawyers charge. Such rates are approved by the Registrar of Courts who also has to grant the approval. The amount will also undergo the necessary taxation processes,” he said.
Mangwana said in the event Chamisa failed to pay, the opposition leader risked losing his personal property.
“What the ruling means is that Zanu PF doesn’t have to pay, it is Chamisa who has to pay our lawyers. The law says if he doesn’t pay we will have to attach his personal property. This law is made to guard against people who approach the courts with cases that are not of any substance,” he said.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba announced the Constitutional Court’s unanimous decision thus: “It is not for the court to decide elections, it is the people. It is a duty of the courts to strive in public interest to sustain that which the people have expressed their will in.
“Therefore their application ought to be dismissed. In the result, the following order is made. The application is dismissed with costs.” DailyNews