A MUTARE resident Michael Peter Hitschmann has given Manicaland provincial registrar Joyce Munamati a 14-day ultimatum to renew his passport, failure which he will take legal action.
On Tuesday, Hitschmann, through his lawyer Passmore Nyakureba, wrote to the Provincial Registrar expressing concern over the denial by the registrar’s office to renew his expired passport. Hitschmann said his passport expired in April 2011 and spirited efforts to get a new travel document had hit a brick wall.
“This is to confirm that pursuant to your letter to us dated 14th of February 2014, our client personally presented himself to secure a new passport on the 17th of February 2014.
“You subsequently advised him to first apply for a certificate of citizenship before being issued with a new passport, this you said was in terms of an unspecified 2001 law,” read the letter citing the case against Mutumwa Mawere versus Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede.
But, Hitschmann said legislation cited by Munamati in denying him the passport had been overshadowed by provisions of section 43 of the new Constitution.
“Unless you issue our client with a new passport within fourteen days of your receipt of this letter we are instructed to institute court proceedings to compel you to issue him with a new passport.
“In the event that our client is forced to go the legal route, he shall be claiming costs on a punitive scale against you,” read the letter. Three years ago, Hitschmann hogged the limelight, as a State witness, in the drama-filled terrorism trial of MDC-T treasurer general Roy Bennett after he allegedly refused to be cowed into submission by accepting evidence extracted from him through torture by police detectives.
The State led by then Attorney-General Johannes Tomana tried to declare Hitschmann a hostile witness before charges levelled against Bennett fell apart, leading to his acquittal.