The Zanu PF government rewarded a High Court judge David Mangota with a house on the same day he was due to hear an application against independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere’s nomination to run for the presidency.
In a High Court application filed on Friday last week, Kasukuwere said he wants Justice David Mangota’s ruling barring him from the election declared a nullity.
In his affidavit, Kasukuwere argued that the ruling was made by “a compromised judicial officer who had received a house from the state three working days before rendering his judgement.” He said:
I am advised that at law, a judgement given by a biased judicial officer must be treated as pro non scripto (as not written) and the same cannot be appealed against but rescinded at law as the same does not appear in the record.
Justice Mangota granted an order sought by Lovedale Mangwana who argued that Kasukuwere was legally ineligible to vote and run for public office as he had been out of the country for 12 months when he filed his nomination papers on 21 June 2023.
Kasukuwere has appealed the judgement at the Supreme Court and the matter is set to be heard on 27 July.
The former cabinet minister has filed the new High Court application in which he wants the court to rescind Justice Mangota’s judgement. He argued:
I was shocked to learn that Justice Mangota was given an immovable property by the state on July 7, 2023, the date upon which he heard the matter and reserved his judgement.
The judge signed the contract of sale for the house funded by the state just before he got into court to hear the matter.
I dare him to oppose this allegation and I will provide the answering affidavit with such agreement.
On the same day, the payment was done to the seller of the property by the national treasury.
Kasukuwere said he was aware of a scheme to give judges houses, but only Justice Mangota had received one so far.
He also said Justice Mangota was the permanent secretary in the justice ministry between 2002 and 2013 and was serving “directly under the command and instructions of Emmerson Mnangagwa who, at the time, was the minister of justice serving from 2000 to 2005.” Added Kasukuwere:
He thus could not competently deliver a judgement against his former boss who is on the list of presidential candidates.
Lovedale Mangwana, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the justice minister and Justice Mangota are cited as respondents.