HomeNewsTelecel battles to prosecute ex-director over $1,7m fraud case

Telecel battles to prosecute ex-director over $1,7m fraud case

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TELECEL Zimbabwe’s lawyers have accused the Office of the Prosecutor-General (PG) of frustrating the company’s efforts to privately prosecute its former board member, Jane Mutasa, by refusing to release a certificate of prosecution.

CHARLES LAITON
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

The company has, since January last year, been battling to obtain the certificate to expedite the private prosecution of Mutasa over a $1,7 million fraud charge involving airtime recharge cards.

Mutasa was arrested sometime in 2010 alongside Telecel commercial director Naguib Omar over an airtime scam, but their trial failed to materialise following the Attorney-General’s refusal to prosecute the matter.

In October last year, the full Constitutional Court bench dismissed an application by the PG’s Office seeking to persuade the court to set aside the Supreme Court’s order which directed the State to issue Telecel with a certificate to privately prosecute Mutasa.

Through its lawyers, Scanlen and Holderness, Telecel immediately approached the Office of the Registrar of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) seeking an order compelling Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku to give out a written judgment of the case.

In a letter dated October 12, 2014, Telecel’s lawyer Isaiah Mureriwa pleaded with Chief Justice Chidyausiku to quickly address the matter for his client’s benefit.

“The matter was argued on the 8th of October 2014 in the Constitutional Court and the Chief Justice delivered an ex-tempo (unwritten) judgment in favour of the respondent (Telecel). The Chief Justice indicated that a written judgment was to be delivered in due course,” Mureriwa said. “The applicant (PG) has refused to comply with the Supreme Court judgment arguing that it will only do so once it has considered the reasoning of the Constitutional Court. In the premises the respondent remains prejudiced in not being able to execute its judgment.”

In response to the request, the Chief Justice, through the Acting Chief Registrar-Superior Courts, Munamato Mutevedzi, said the validity of the ConCourt order was not dependent on the reasons for judgment.

“The Honourable Chief Justice does not accept that the validity of the Constitutional Court order is dependent on the reasons for judgment. A court order is a court order and does not depend for its validity on the reasons for such order,” Mutevedzi said. “In light of the above, it is entirely up to your client as to what legal recourse it considers advisable to take.”

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