High Court judge, Justice Clement Phiri has today ordered President of the Chiefs Council, Fortune Charumbira to publicly retract his statements that traditional leaders will support the ruling Zanu PF in the forthcoming elections.
In his ruling Justice Phiri found Charumbira to be in contravention of the Constitution of Zimbabwe before ordering him to retract in writing the statements that he made on two occasions first at the Annual Conference of the Council of Chiefs on 28th of October 2017 and on the 13th of January this year.
“The remarks by the first respondent on 28 October 2017 on the occasion of the Annual Conference of the Council of Chiefs and on the 13th of January 2018 to the effect that traditional leaders have been supporting and must continue to support Zanu PF and its Presidential candidate at the forthcoming 2018 elections be and is hereby declared to be in contravention of the constitution of Zimbabwe,” noted Justice Phiri.
“The first respondent be and is hereby ordered to retract in writing the statements that he made to the effect that traditional leaders should support and vote for Zanu PF by issuing a countermanding statement with national circulation and endeavour to make the statement available to private and public media houses and the national broadcaster within 7 days of being served with this order,” added Justice Phiri.
The High Court further instructed the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing cited as the third respondent to institute disciplinary action for misconduct against Chief Charumbira.
“Third respondent be and is hereby directed to commence disciplinary proceedings for misconduct against the first respondent,” said Justice Phiri.
Charumbira was also ordered to pay the costs of the lawsuit which was filed by a poll watchdog group, Election Resource Centre (ERC).