THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) is on January 15 this year set to preside over the matter in which Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa challenged the court’s ruling which stated that the law criminalising “publishing or communicating statement prejudicial to the State” was in violation of the people’s rights to freedom of expression.
CHARLES LAITON,SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The minister’s opposition of the court’s ruling came about after the court ruled in favour of former NewsDay editor Constantine Chimakure, Apha Media Holdings group-editor-in-chief Vincent Kahiya, Zimbabwe Independent Publishers and sculptor Owen Maseko who had challenged the existence and application of the draconian law.
However, Mnangagwa, through the office of the Prosecutor-General, (PG) argued that the relevant section of the law Section 31 (a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which the court was seeking to invalidate, should be maintained.
The full Concourt bench headed by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, last November delivered a landmark ruling and called for the invalidation of the said repulsive law on the basis that it contravened section 20 (1) of the Constitution.
The court then called Mnangagwa to appear before it “to show cause why” the section of the code should not be invalidated.
Mnangagwa argued that the ConCourt had “failed” to carefully take a correct approach in examining the questions before it by confining itself to the particular cases before it.
The matter was postponed sine die last year after the applicants’ lawyers requested for more time to go through Mnangagwa’s heads of arguments before submitting their response.
Chris Mutangadura from the PG’s office represented Mnangagwa while Chimakure, Kahiya and Zimbabwe Independent were represented by Miranda Khumalo and Maseko was represented by Advocate Zvikomborero Chadambuka.