High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu on Wednesday reserved judgment indefinitely in an urgent chamber application by Finance minister Tendai Biti seeking an order barring the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) from accessing his mobile phone information from Econet.
Chief law officer Chris Mutangadura who represented ZRP, opposed Biti’s application arguing the police were entitled to access any information during investigations.
“Police cannot be stopped to investigate anyone whether there is a right to privacy or not,” said Mutangadura soon after emerging from the judge’s chambers.
Justice Bhunu postponed the judgment after Mutangadura and Biti’s lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, who was instructed by Tawanda Nyamasoka from Atherstone and Cook, made oral submissions.
Biti’s urgent chamber application came about after police approached the magistrates’ court and obtained a search warrant to access his information from Econet.
In his founding affidavit, Biti said the need to access information from his phones was being spearheaded by his political enemies, seeking to destabilise the inclusive government.
He said this was clear evidence that he was personally being targeted for harassment.
“I have been subjected to a lot of harassment over the past few weeks, which include the bombing that was carried out at my house and the invasion of my office,” Biti said.
“I submit that the release of the information requested is unlawful and unconstitutional as it violates my right to privacy and protection of the law. Further, such information if released will be prejudicial to me and to my party Movement for Democratic Change.”
Biti further argued the fact a search warrant may well have been obtained does not make the process of obtaining such information lawful.