Kariba-based Remnant Pentecostal Church leader, Phillip Patrick Mugadza’s bid to challenge his arrest and prosecution over his “prophecy” stating President Robert Mugabe will die on October 17, yesterday went up in smoke after his application seeking stay of prosecution, was dismissed by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).
BY CHARLES LAITON
Chief Justice Luke Malaba, sitting with the full ConCourt bench, declined entertaining the matter on merits and dismissed Mugadza’s matter on the basis that the case had been improperly brought before the court.
Justice Malaba then told legal practitioners and magistrates that there was a misconception that every matter raising some difficulties between them must be referred to the ConCourt.
“There is a misconception by lawyers and magistrates, who always fail to determine the questions and the issues to be referred to the ConCourt. The lawyers and the magistrates must first decide whether there are questions and issues, necessary to be referred to this court.
“Questions to be answered by magistrates must be done so; magistrates must decide whether or not the questions raised for determination are frivolous and vexatious,” he said, before dismissing the matter by consent with no order as to costs.
Mugadza was arrested in January after he “prophesied” that Mugabe will die on October 17.
The State alleges, by so doing, the man of the cloth insulted the Christian religion and African tradition.
Mugadza’s then lawyers, David Hofisi, Gift Mtisi and Dorcas Chitiyo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, challenged the laws under which the cleric had been arrested, arguing they were unconstitutional.
During the hearing at the ConCourt, Mugadza was represented by Tawanda Zhuwarara, instructed by Mtisi, while the State was represented by Fungai Nyahunzvi from the Prosecutor-General’s Office.