BY BLESSED MHLANGA
FORMER Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira is challenging her arrest by a police officer seconded to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), arguing that it was unconstitional.
Mupfumira, who was arrested last month on abuse of office charges related to $95 million allegedly siphoned from the National Social Security Authority, now wants her case quashed on the grounds that her arrest was illegal..
Her lawyers Chinyama and Partners wrote to the Supreme Court on September 2
“The arrest of the accused by a serving member of the police seconded to the Anti-Corruption Commission was a gross irregularity going to the roots of all proceedings,” the lawyers wrote.
“ The court is urged to exercise its rights to review the proceedings in the magistrates courts in terms of section 25 (2) of the Supreme Court Act and set them aside and substitute them with an order for accused person’s immediate release in terms of section
50 (5) (e) of the constitution of Zimbabwe. “
The lawyers said the investigations into the case were also illegal.
“Even the purported investigations carried out by a serving member of the Public Service Commission are themselves unconstitutional,” the letter added.
“The court is urged to throw away any procedural niceties in dealing with such an important case.”
Mupfumira’s lawyers cited a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling in a case involving the Zimbabwe Law Officers and the National Prosecuting Authority, which barred the use of security forces in civilian organisations.
The ConCourt said:” Clearly the conduct of engaging serving members of the security services in civilian institutions is inconsistent with section 208(4) of the Constitution.”