The trial of former Education minister and Mashonaland East governor Aeneas Chigwedere involving witchcraft claims by his son, Magwiza, was yesterday postponed after the defence lawyer cited un-procedural flaws on the matter.
BY NQOBILE NKIWANE
The defence also added the case should be handled in Mashonaland East province.
Chigwedere was expected to answer to witchcraft charges levelled against him by his son at the Harare Civil Court before magistrate Brighton Pabwe.
However, through his lawyer Tendai Masawi, the former minister said his son had chosen the wrong procedure when he made the application.
Masawi challenged the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ court in handling the matter stating all the parties involved in the matter were based in Marondera and, therefore, the case would better be heard in Mashonaland East.
His lawyer went on to argue that Magwiza raised constitutional issues in his application and, therefore, the matter should be he heard in the Constitutional Court.
“The nature of the order is not permissible in a magistrates’ court, therefore, there is no way this court can determine such a matter,” Masawi said, urging the court to dismiss the application.
In his response, Magwiza said he had made an application instead of proceeding by way of summons because he wanted the matter to be dealt with promptly as he feared for his life.
“This matter is tricky because it involves witchcraft, no one knows what my father will be up to when we leave court,” Magwiza said. Magwiza also said he felt his application would be better held in Harare because he feared his father would tamper with the course of justice in Marondera.
“He is well known and feared back in Marondera and he can even abuse his status to influence even the police,” he said.
Magwiza also said he was surprised and shocked to read in the local Press that his father was of the opinion that he (Magwiza) was insane and in need of medical examination by a psychiatrist.
Late last year, Magwiza approached the courts, accusing Chigwedere of practising witchcraft, claiming he had goblins that were terrorising other family members. Chigwedere is being sued together with his wife, Emilia Zharare, who is Magwiza’s step-mother.
Magistrate Pabwe will give his determination of the preliminary issues raised by Chigwedere on January 26.