Senior Court Reporter
Political activist, Hopewell Chin’ono’s lawyers yesterday apologised to Harare regional magistrate, Mr Ngoni Nduna, for their conduct, which the court felt undermined his integrity.
This came after they did not follow procedures when asking Mr Nduna to recuse himself from handling Chin’ono’s case.
Mr Gift Mutisi, who was appearing for Chin’ono together with Mr Doug Coltart, apologised to Mr Nduna.
The two had said their law firm was suing Mr Nduna in his personal capacity over his decision to stop lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, from representing Chin’ono and could no longer afford to handle the matter due to those circumstances.
It appeared that the manner in which Mr Mutisi addressed Mr Nduna over the issue was not proper, prompting him to summon the two lawyers to his chambers.
After the meeting in the magistrate’s chambers where prosecutor Ms Tendai Shonhai was in attendance, Mr Mutisi returned to apologise in court, saying he never intended to ruffle the court’s feathers.
Chin’ono was charged with incitement to commit public violence or alternatively incitement to participate in a gathering with the intent to promote public violence by posting messages through his Twitter handle between March 1 and July 20 this year.
He is expected back in court today to apply for Mr Nduna to recuse himself.
Chin’ono wants temporary release of his passport, claiming he intends to travel to South Africa where he was invited to participate in South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s Black Wednesday commemorations.
His lawyers said the Black Wednesday commemorations were scheduled for tomorrow.
“As per the letter of invitation attached hereto, the SABC has invited Mr Chin’ono to participate in a round-table discussion to unpack the significance of Black Wednesday to the SABC as a public service broadcaster entrusted to deliver public interest programming,” reads his letter.