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Maseko makes application for referral to Supreme Court
September 16, 2010
Owen Maseko on 15 September 2010, made an application before Bulawayo
Magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu to have his case referred to the
Supreme Court for determination on whether the criminalization of
his artistic work was not a violation of his right to freedom of
thought and expression.
In his application
for referral, Maseko, represented by lawyer Lizwe Jamela, argued
that it was necessary for the Supreme Court to make a determination
on whether his rights to freedom of expression and freedom of thought
as enshrined in Section 20 (1) and Section 19 (1), respectively,
had been violated. Maseko further contended that as a result the
action against him was in violation of his right to the full protection
of the law as provided under Section 18 (1) of the Constitution.
Zvekare representing the State opposed the application for referral.
He argued that the rights in question were not absolute and were
subject to certain exceptions under which they could be waived.
He further noted that the case of Maseko was an example of the type
of circumstances under which the exercise of the rights restricted.
deferred the matter to 16 September 2010, after noting that she
could only make a ruling on the application after having looked
at the art exhibits in question.
Maseko was arrested
on 26 March 2010 initially on charges of violating Section 33 of
the Criminal Law Codification
and Reform Act which alludes to insulting or undermining the
authority of the president; the charge was then altered to Section
31 which deals with the publication of false statements prejudicial
to the state.
However on appearing
before the Magistrate on September 14, the State, represented by
Tawanda Zvekare, again attempted to charge Maseko under the initial
section 33 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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