Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya has lost the presidency of the small-scale miners’ body after her appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Ms Rushwaya had earlier been stripped of the ZMF presidency by the High Court, but filed an appeal on April 4, 2019. The Supreme Court dismissed Ms Rushwaya’s appeal on June 25.
Said the Supreme Court: “Reference is made to the notice of appeal you filed on April 4, 2019. It is noted that you did not comply with Rule 17(11) for the inspection of record with the stipulated time in terms of the Supreme Court Rules, 2018. In terms of sub rule 17 (12) of the aforementioned Rules the appeal is deemed to have been abandoned and therefore dismissed.”
ZMF acting president Mr Ishmael Kaguru told The Herald Business on Monday that indeed the Ms Rushwaya-led executive had its appeal dismissed by the Supreme Court.
“The Rushwaya-led executive lost in the High Court and appealed to the Supreme Court. So their appeal was dismissed on June 25 by the Supreme Court. What the Supreme Court ruling means is that the court order from the High Court is now in force and the old executive is now back in charge,” said Mr Kaguru.
He said they had come to Harare on Monday to brief the Minister (of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando), about the Supreme Court outcome. Minister Chitando had wanted the two groups — the one led by him and the other by Ms Rushwaya — to meet and talk but “it’s already too late now after this judgment”.
“All we are saying is that the constitution had been violated left, right and centre. It was not a question of our struggle. It was just a case of ‘can we respect our constitution’. Now that we are back in the office, it means we need to work on organising elections. No one is clinging on to a position, no; it was a question of the violation of the constitution,” explained Mr Kaguru.
Ms Rushwaya could not be reached for comment yesterday as her mobile phone was not going through.
The case between the ZMF versus the Zvishavane-Mberengwa Miners’ Association (ZMMA) started after reports of alleged manipulation of elections, which ushered in Ms Rushwaya.
The High Court invalidated the results and proceedings of the polls.
Ms Rushwaya had been elected ZMF president in June last year but the ZMMA challenged her election at the High Court in Bulawayo under case number 1652/18. Then High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, granted a provisional order suspending the holding of elections on June 14, 2018.
But ZMF pressed ahead with the plebiscite, which Ms Rushwaya won.
The old ZMF executive led by Mr Kaguru boycotted the elections.