Chikumba hearing deferred again

Source: Chikumba hearing deferred again | The Herald May 11, 2017

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
THE case in which former Air Zimbabwe chief executive Peter Chikumba is seeking an order to remain on bail until the determination of his fresh appeal against both conviction and sentence has been further postponed to tomorrow.

Chikumba and his co-accused Grace Pfumbidzayi, the airline’s former corporate secretary, unsuccessfully appealed against both conviction and seven-year jail terms.

The hearing had been set for Tuesday, but Justice Hlekani Mwayera deferred the matter to tomorrow at the behest of the defence.

Mr Oliver Marwa of Rubaya, Chatambudza Legal Practitioners sought the postponement.

In an interview, Mr Marwa said the postponement was necessitated by the non-availability of lead defence counsel Advocate Thabani Mpofu, who was committed elsewhere. “The matter has been deferred to Friday because Adv Mpofu, who is supposed to argue the matter is not available,” said Mr Marwa.

This is the second time the hearing has been postponed after it was last week deferred to Tuesday to allow the prosecution to file its response.

Chikumba, who is contesting the High Court decision, wants to remain out of custody on $2 000 bail, coupled with stringent conditions.

Pfumbidzayi, who is being represented by Advocate Webster Chinamhora, last week filed her notice and grounds of appeal at the Supreme Court.

The duo has approached the Supreme Court on appeal against the High Court decision.

Chikumba and Pfumbidzayi were convicted and jailed seven years each for criminal abuse of duty under the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act.

The High Court has since made a finding that a charge of criminal abuse of duty is only applicable to public officers as defined in the country’s statutes and Air Zimbabwe is a private entity.