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Magistrate to deliver ruling on Maseko's application as court conducts inspection in loco
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

September 16, 2010

Bulawayo Magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu will on Friday 17 September, 2010 deliver her ruling on an application filed by lawyers representing visual artist Owen Maseko seeking a referral of his matter to the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the criminalisation of creative arts infringes on freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.

Magistrate Mazhandu will deliver her ruling at 16:00hrs at the Bulawayo Magistrates Court sitting at Tredgold building after hearing submissions from both Maseko's lawyers and State Prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare who opposed the application.

Maseko's lawyers Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) want the Supreme Court to make a determination of the violation of the protection of the artist's freedom of expression as enshrined in Section 20 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the protection of freedom of conscience, particularly freedom of thought guaranteed in terms of Section 19 (1) of the Constitution and the protection of the law as provided in terms of Section 18 (1) of the Constitution.

The lawyers also want the Supreme Court to determine whether or not bona fide works of artistic creativity can be subjected to prosecution under Section 31 and 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) without infringing on the provisions of Sections 18 (1), 19 (1) and 20 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

On Thursday 16 September, 2010 Magistrate Mazhandu visited the Bulawayo National Art Gallery to carry out an inspection in loco of Maseko's exhibition together with the talented visual artist, his lawyers and Zvekare.

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