Back to Index
refers Maseko's application to Supreme Court
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 18, 2010
Ntombizodwa Mazhandu on Saturday 18 September, 2010 granted an application
filed by lawyers representing visual artist Owen Maseko seeking
a referral of his matter to the Supreme Court to determine whether
criminalising creative arts infringes on freedom of expression and
freedom of conscience.
In her ruling
Magistrate Mazhandu referred the application filed by Maseko's
lawyers Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to the Supreme Court after accepting
that the application was not frivolous and vexatious.
said it was a fact that Gukurahundi-military killings of over 20
000 civillians in Matabeleland and Midlands-did happen.
said the Supreme Court should decide on the points that were raised
by the lawyers in their application.
The ruling means
that Maseko's trial will be postponed sine die until the finalisation
of the case in the Supreme Court.
filed their application before Magistrate Mazhandu last Wednesday.
State prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare was opposing the application. Maseko's
lawyers stated that the artist's fundamental rights, provided
for in the Constitution
of Zimbabwe and other International Human Rights Instruments
to which Zimbabwe is a State party, were being violated.
Court will now make a determination on 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.
court will now 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
In their application
Jamela, Chanayiwa and Bamu argued that Maseko's freedoms of
expression and thought as guaranteed by Sections 20 (1) and 19 (1)
of the Constitution of Zimbabwe respectively were violated repeatedly
at various stages when he was arrested in March after the police
outlawed his art works and when the government recently invoked
the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act to ban his paintings
at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery.
alleged that these rights were still being violated and continued
to be violated through pressing fresh charges against the artist.
stated that art was a professional trade that could never lend itself
to one conclusive interpretation and was an idea or thought that
was developed over time, and then presented in visible form for
Visit the ZLHR
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.