HARARE – The Supreme Court will Thursday sit to hear an application filed by Zanu PF activist Lovedale Mangwana who is seeking to counter Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal against the exiled politician’s High Court ban from contesting in the August 23 presidential election.

Kasukuwere’s nomination as one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 10 challengers was overturned by Justice David Mangota last week.

Mangota ruled the former Zanu PF political commissar could not take part in any Zimbabwean poll because he has been absent from the country for more than 18 months.

The judge concurred with Mangwana’s argument that Kasukuwere’s absence from the country for a consecutive 18-month period rendered him unqualified to stand in any election as stipulated by the country’s electoral law.

In a turn of events, Kasukuwere filed an appeal at the Supreme Court and the matter is yet to be heard.

His appeal suspended the High Court ruling prompting Mangwana to approach the Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing of Kasukuwere’s challenge in the same court.

Kasukuwere is also opposing urgent hearing of the matter and his lawyers were set to file their opposition heads of argument by day end Tuesday.

His spokesperson Jacqualine Sande said they need more time to prepare their appeal adding that it was in the best interest of justice to have the matter remain on the normal roll.

“We have a High Court ruling by Justice Mangota which effectively barred the participation of Saviour Kasukuwere in the upcoming elections.

“However, we filed an appeal and that appeal is not what was before this court today,” she said Tuesday.

“Lovedale Mangwana then approached this court so that the appeal can be heard on urgent basis.

“So, what happened today was management of this case in which Lovedale seeks the appeal to be heard on an urgent basis.

“The court ruled that Saviour Kasukuwere’s opposing papers should be filed before end of business today (Tuesday) and then tomorrow (Wednesday) by 1 pm, the applicant is to file answering and head of arguments before we file Kasukuwere’s heads on the 20th.”

Some analysts see Kasukuwere’s presidential bid as a potential threat to Mnangagwa’s bid to command the entire Zanu PF vote since the former party lawmaker still has strong links to the ruling party.

According to observers, Kasukuwere could draw support from a section of disgruntled ruling party elements, among them, those now fed up with the incumbent’s leadership style or from late former President Robert Mugabe’s remnant support. — ZimLive

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