Mudede Battles To Overturn High Court Ruling

In a sign that Mudede is determined to deny Piroro a new travel document, the Registrar-General recently approached the Supreme Court asking to be allowed to oppose Justice Mavangira’s judgment arguing that his lawyers did not get the judgment on time hence the failure to meet the deadline for filing an appeal.

“I have not willfully delayed in filing the Notice of Opposition. My erstwhile legal practitioner who was seized with this matter could not
deal with it timeously as he was in ill health and furthermore he only managed to obtain the reasons of judgment on the 7th September 2011,” wrote Mudede in an affidavit accompanying his application for condonation.

Already, Mudede is facing contempt of court charges for failing to adhere to Justice Mavangira’s ruling in March declaring his refusal to renew Piroro’s passport as unlawful. Mudede did not oppose the judgment within the set time.

In his Supreme Court application Mudede argues that his failure to renew Piroro’s passport was because the matter was of “national

“This matter is very complex and it requires the Full Bench of the Constitutional Court to deal with it,” says Mudede.

Bryant Elliot of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who is representing Piroro dismissed Mudede’s application as a “nullity”.

The High Court in March gave Mudede a two week ultimatum to renew Piroro’s passport in March. Mudede has been refusing to renew Piroro’s passport arguing that the accounting strategist for a Canadian financial institution was a Mozambican national.

But Justice Mavangira in the ruling being ignored by Mudede said Piroro was a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth in terms of Section 5 of the Constitution.

Justice Mavangira declared that “the provisions of Section 9 (7) of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 4:01) in so far as it relates to citizenship by birth were ultra vires the powers vested in the Parliament of Zimbabwe in terms of Section 9 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and are in consequence of no force or effect.”

Mudede is now represented by Mudenda Attorneys after being ditched, first by lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office and then by
Mushonga, Mutsvairo and Associates.

Piroro was born and educated in Zimbabwe and had sought to renew his passport at the Zimbabwean embassy in Ottawa.

The travelling document was issued in 2000 and wanted the passport renewed after it expired last year. But in response Mudede refused, alleging that Piroro was a dual citizen on account of his father
having been born in Mozambique.

Mudede said Piroro should first renounce his purported Mozambican citizenship-which he does not hold-before he could obtain a new
Zimbabwe passport.

In his argument, which was thrown out by the High Court Judge, Mudede argued that Piroro should have renounced his purported citizenship between 6 July 2001 and 6 January 2002 under the provisions of section 9 (7) of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act.

Mudede argued that although Piroro was born in Zimbabwe and spent most of his life in the country, he had lost his Zimbabwean citizenship and was now regarded as an “alien”.

Piroro’s father, Saidon, was born in Mozambique. He migrated to Zimbabwe around 1955 and never returned to Mozambique. He became a citizen of Zimbabwe by registration and had a Zimbabwean identity number. Piroro’s mother, born in Marondera, was a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth.