Borrowdale billboard ruling set for month end 

Source: Borrowdale billboard ruling set for month end | The Herald

Borrowdale billboard ruling set for month end

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent

Paragon Printing director Mark Strathen and Fairclotte Investments director Grant Russell who are facing allegations of erecting an illegal billboard in Borrowdale with damaging information to a land development company are awaiting a Supreme Court ruling for their application in which they are challenging a High Court ruling that dismissed their application for review.

The ruling will be ready on September 30.

The pair is facing criminal nuisance charges.

Russel and Strathen are challenging a High Court ruling which dismissed their application for review of another application of exception dismissed by a Harare magistrate.

The duo early this year had their application for review dismissed by High Court judge Justice Bachi Muzawazi.

Last year, Russell and Strathen, who are represented by Tendai Biti, filed the application for exception to charges of criminal nuisance. Their application was dismissed by Harare magistrate Mr Shane Kubonera on the grounds that it was marred by triable issues.

In dismissing their application for exception, Mr Kubonera said the duo must stand trial to answer to their allegations.

Aggrieved by the dismissal of their application, Russell and Strathen filed a review of Kubonera’s determination at the High Court.

Justice Bachi Muzawazi dismissed their application saying she found no reason to interfere with the incomplete proceedings before the primary court.

According to the court documents, Russell is a director of Fairclot Investments and Strathen is the director of Paragon Printing and Packaging services Company.

Russell and Strathen are the applicants together with their companies as first applicant to fourth respectively. They cited magistrate Kubonera and the State prosecutor Shambadzeni Fungura as respondents. In their application, the duo had challenged that the contents of the billboard were not offensive. They further argued that the contents of the billboard did not interfere with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public or any section of the public thereof.

Magistrate Kubonera turned down the application on the defective charge, and did not make a determination on the constitutional arguments ruling that, a determination on the appropriateness of the charge, whether it disclosed an offence or not cannot be made at that stage but only after hearing evidence.

After that decision by Kubonera, the duo filed an urgent chamber application for stay of those proceedings pending the review.

Kubonera and Fungura however challenged the applicants saying the words used by the duo fall within the ambit of criminal nuisance hence it discloses an offence and that his decision was not grossly irregular or irrational.