Date set for Mnangagwa, AMH Concourt case

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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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I will be following the proceedings with keen interest because the State has lied to the people all along that they “liberated the country” but do not give the young generation the details of how they did this. Black rule was negotiated and the fighting by Zanu or Zapu had no connection whatsoever with bringing about black rule. I know better because I was inside the country and followed events minute by minute, not what those who had left Rhodesia in the 1960s or were in detention all the time would want everyone to believe. Most of the stuff coming from state sources are lies why would people be prosecuted for putting the records straight, not least if they witnessed some political events? The state also lies that people were suffering under colonialism – I was born in S Rhodesia I never saw unhappy people but I see unhappy people now. The state does not furnish any evidence that people were unhappy during Rhodesia or what they were unhappy with. We had choices to either live in towns or if we were not happy to go to the rural areas but right now towns are just as bad as rural areas. Black rule took long because Zapu and Zanu were fighting each other. I know because I was a member of the then majority Zapu in the early 1960s where are main target was the then minority renegades of Zanu under Ndabaningi Sithole, not the whites. The fighting between Zapu and Zanu started in 1963 right up to 1987 when the two parties signed the Unity Accord. If black rule had been negotiated around 1964 and an election held, the then majority Zapu, under Nkomo, would have got into power. You could say what Smith did in delaying black rule worked to Zanu’s advantage because they were then able to reinvent themselves by 1980 on tribal or ethnic lines, if you like.

  2. One sentence should read, “I know because I was a member of the then majority Zapu in the early 1960s where our main target was the then minority renegades of Zanu under Ndabaningi Sithole, not the whites”.

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