THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Wednesday ruled that the administration of corporal punishment to children by teachers, parents and courts will remain in force until the matter has been properly dealt with.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The order effectively sets aside High Court judge Justice Ester Muremba’s order last December, which outlawed the administration of corporal punishment on errant juveniles to safeguard their rights.
In its brief ruling, the ConCourt, headed by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, said the order by Justice Muremba was no longer operational until as and when the matter would be heard by the ConCourt.
“The matter is postponed sine die (indefinitely) and for the avoidance of doubt and for the guidance of the subordinate court, the order by Muremba J is not operational until the guidance of this court and the law is as it was before that order,” Justice Chidyausiku said.
The setting aside of Justice Muremba’s order followed a directive by the judge instructing the Prosecutor-General (PG) to apply to the ConCourt to have section 353 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act declared constitutionally invalid. Justice Chidyausiku said since the State was opposed to the confirmation of the order in concurrence with Advocate Thabani Mpofu, it was important to hear a different opinion before a determination could be made.
However, former Finance minister and lawyer Tendai Biti, who was present in court representing a different matter, volunteered to present the court with a different opinion in support of the confirmation of the constitutional invalidity.
Advocate Mpofu concurred with the State that the matter had not been properly brought before the court urging the court not to confirm the order.
The State was represented by Justin Uladi from the PG’s Office and Olivia Zvedi from the Attorney-