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drops charges against MP pending Supreme Court decision as activists
trial set for July
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
April 20, 2011
The trial of
Makoni South Member of Parliament
Hon. Pishai Muchauraya for allegedly undermining and insulting the
authority of President Robert Mugabe's authority could not
commence at Murambinda Magistrates Court on Wednesday 20 April 2011
after the legislators' lawyers served Magistrate Henry Sande
with a Supreme Court application in which Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR) is challenging the Magistrate's initial refusal
to refer the matter to the Constitutional court.
One of Hon.
Muchauraya's lawyers Blessing Nyamaropa of ZLHR produced the
application which had been drafted and filed by Tawanda Zhuwarara
of ZLHR in March challenging the decision by Magistrate Sande to
dismiss the legislator's application to have the matter referred
to the Supreme Court.
the Supreme Court in March seeking to overturn Magistrate Sande's
ruling barring the Makoni South MP from approaching the Constitutional
Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 33 (2) of the
(Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23). Hon Muchauraya
is also being charged with contravening Section 37 (1) (b) of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) for allegedly
participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.
The lawyers also want the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality
of the Section of the law.
for Democratic Change MP is being charged under the two sections
of the law for uttering public statements that allegedly undermined
President Mugabe's authority at a public gathering in October
say these particular sections of the law are unconstitutional and
give President Mugabe an unfair advantage over his political rivals.
that it was clear that since Magistrate Sande was cited as the first
respondent in the Supreme Court application he could no longer preside
over the matter.
The State conceded
and withdrew charges before plea pending the finalisation of the
Supreme Court matter.
After the determination
of the matter, the State would decide whether to proceed by way
of summons or not.
Harare, State prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba set July 18 2011 as the
trial date for six social, economic justice and human rights activists
charged with treason.
In an unprecedented move Nyazamba said the trial would take place
in the regional magistrates court instead of the High Court, which
usually preside over treason trials. The activists' lawyer
Marufu Mandevere advised Harare Magistrate Don Ndirovei that he
would apply for the relaxation of the activists bail conditions.
The six activists are Munyaradzi Gwisai, Hopewell Gumbo, Antonater
Choto, Welcome Zimuto, Eddson Chakuma, and Tatenda Mombeyarara.
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