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Magistrate recuses himself in Mtetwa case
Moses Chibaya, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
June 09, 2013

A Harare magistrate yesterday recused himself from a case involving top human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.

This followed an application by her lawyer showing the court was already privy to the facts that had been presented before it.

The magistrate, Tendai Mawe agreed to recuse himself. The matter is set to be heard tomorrow by another magistrate.

Mtetwa is facing allegations of "defeating or obstructing the course of justice".

She was arrested on March 17 for allegedly attempting to block the police from searching the house of a senior MDC-T official in Westgate and private offices of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the capital.

Police had allegedly received information the previous day that MDC-T officials - Thabani Mpofu, Warship Dumba, Felix Matsinde and Mehluli Tshuma - were unlawfully compiling criminal dockets in respect of prominent government officials.

Mawe said the court had already heard evidence in the case of State versus Mpofu, which had the same facts.

"The court is therefore already privy to the evidence which shall be lead in this matter, as such it is not desirable to hear this matter whilst also hearing the matter of State versus Thabani Mpofu according to this ground only the application is granted for recusal and the matter is postponed to June 10, so that this matter is allocated another magistrate," said Mawe.

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