BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
SUSPENDED Harare mayor Jacob Mafume on Monday filed an application of exception in a case where he is accused of obstructing justice saying the charges he is facing do not disclose any offence.
Mafume who is represented by Tonderai Bhatasara appeared before Harare Magistrate Taurai Manuwere.
Bhatasara told the court that he will file his application on December 3. The State elected to respond to the application on December 7, while Manuwere will deliver his ruling on it on December 10.
Bhatasara had unsuccessfully applied for postponement of the matter as there is a pending application at the High Court to review his application for recusal of presiding magistrate Ngoni Nduna from the case.
He said the trial cannot start since the State also opposed the application, adding that the State must withdraw its opposing application at the High Court.
Mafume’s lawyer said since Nduna previously denied him bail; he cannot preside over his trial.
“Nduna had refused to recuse himself because he said the matter was allocated to him. So before an existing court order, the State cannot purport to disregard the court order or ignore and decide to place the matter before another judicial officer, “Bhatasara said.
He said if the State concedes regarding recusal of esquire Nduna, it must file consent in respect of the review application at the High Court, adding that the High Court must issue an order of consent regarding Nduna’s recusal.
However, the state represented by Netsai Mushayabasa said the defence was trying to delay the trial as it had ample time to file the application from September, did not to do so.
She said the right to a fair trial is not only for the accused, but also for those who wanted justice to be served.
The right to a fair trial is not only for the accused persons, but equally on the public interest of justice. The witness has been diligently coming to court, “Mushayabasa said.
After he failed to postpone the matter, Bhatasara then filed the application for exception, which he said would be filed on Friday.