Chief Court Reporter
The High Court has struck off the roll the case in which builder George Katsimberis was seeking a review of the trial court ruling dismissing his request to refer his case to the Constitutional Court over alleged violation of his constitutional rights.
Katsimberis is facing charges of duping Pokugura land developer of close to USS$1 million in a joint venture to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.
Harare regional magistrate Mrs Letwin Rwodzi last year dismissed Katsimberis’ application to have his matter referred to the Constitutional Court, saying it was frivolous and vexatious.
She ruled that if a constitutional matter arises, a magistrate dealing with the matter was entitled to refer the matter the Constitutional Court unless the court finds it frivolous or vexatious.
Mrs Rwodzi found that Katsimberis had not come up with a constitutional question to be referred to the highest court in the land.
Unsatisfied with the trial court’s ruling, Katsimberis took the matter up to the High Court on review, but Justice Jacob Manzunzu found the application to be defective at law for non-compliance with the court rules and struck it off the roll.
“The application be and is hereby struck off the roll with no order as to costs,” he said.
Mr Tendai Biti conceded that the application by his client did not spell out the exact relief sought, but sought to argue that the draft order was incorporated in the application.
This, Justice Manzunzu ruled, was not a cure for failure to state the relief clearly in the application.
In the lower court, Mr Biti had argued that two previous prosecutors who were handling the matter were biased and were likely to infringe his client’s rights for a free trial.
But the magistrate ruled that the two said prosecutors had since been removed from handling the matter and the matter was now being dealt with by senior prosecutor, Mr Michael Reza, hence that reason had fallen away.