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Mugabe by-election challenge and Mtetwa’s case postponed
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
April 03
, 2013

High Court Judge President, Justice George Chiweshe on Wednesday 3 April 2013 once again postponed the matter in which President Robert Mugabe is seeking to be excused from complying with a court order that compels him to proclaim dates for three Matebeleland by-elections by end of March.

The Judge President advised lawyers for the President and the three affected legislators that he could and would only determine the President’s request to be excused from proclaiming dates for by-elections, primarily by interrogating the issue of the date on which Parliament should legally be dissolved and whether this date would allow sufficient time for by-elections to still be held. The head of the High Court further intimated that the court was not the appropriate forum for the resolution of a date for national elections, as this was an issue requiring the attention of both the President and the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Chris Mhike, who had filed an application for joinder of the PM to the court proceedings, indicated that if the Deputy Attorney General, Prince Machaya, agreed not to pursue the issue of when general elections should be held, it was likely that his client would no longer need to be party to the proceedings relating solely to the by-elections dispute.

Meanwhile, Harare Magistrate Don Ndirowei on Wednesday 3 April 2013 postponed to 8 April 2013 the matter in which prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is accused of contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

Magistrate Ndirowei postponed the matter to allow the human rights lawyer’s legal representatives, Advocate Thabani Mpofu and Harrison Nkomo, to file an application challenging her placement on remand, and for the State to furnish Mtetwa with a trial date. The lawyers will argue that no offence was disclosed by the State and thus Mtetwa should not have been placed on remand.

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