Zanu PF supporter Sybeth Musengezi, who openly challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rise to the party presidency, appeared in court on Tuesday for trial.
Musengezi was accused of fraudulently obtaining a Zanu PF membership card by providing false address information. Represented by Nqobani Sithole and Doug Coltart, Musengezi claimed that the case was politically motivated due to his opposition to Mnangagwa.
During the trial, the State called Godwills Masimirembwa, the Zanu PF provincial chairperson for Harare, as a witness. Masimirembwa informed the court that Musengezi had provided a false address when applying for Zanu PF membership. Musengezi’s defence argued that his membership card had not been revoked, raising questions about the validity of the accusations.
According to the defence, Musengezi is still an active Zanu PF member, holding a party membership card and regularly paying subscriptions. However, Masimirembwa claimed to be unaware of any recent payments and stated that the matter would have been handled internally if Musengezi had indeed been a member. He further alleged that Musengezi had not paid subscriptions since 2019.
Masimirembwa revealed that investigations into Musengezi’s membership started after the latter filed an application in the High Court challenging Mnangagwa’s presidency. He stated that had Musengezi attempted to pay subscriptions, his membership card would have been confiscated. The defence countered these claims by presenting evidence that Musengezi had been a Zanu PF member since 2006, registered in Mt Darwin, Mashonaland Central province.
The trial was adjourned to October 18 for continuation. It remains to be seen how the case will progress and whether Musengezi’s claims of political persecution will be substantiated in court.