Lumumba goes for third lawyer as trial stalls

THE trial of Viva Zimbabwe president Acie Lumumba, who is accused of undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority, failed to continue yesterday after he changed his lawyers for the third time. BY MARY TARUVINGA

Source: Lumumba goes for third lawyer as trial stalls – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 3, 2016

Lumumba was initially represented by Ashiel Mugiya before he roped in MDC-T vice-president, Nelson Chamisa, but yesterday he settled for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member, Advocate Zvikomborero Chadambuka, forcing Harare provincial magistrate, Vakai Chikwekwe to postpone the matter.

Earlier, Chamisa had sought postponement of the case, saying he needed time to go through his client’s docket.

“We cannot proceed this way and with the number of lawyers in the country, we don’t know how many you are going to bring in this case. Go and put your house in order. I’m even surprised that the advocate has not been instructed, which shouldn’t be the case,” Chikwekwe told Lumumba. Chadambuka told the court he had brought a letter from Mugiya, but prosecutor, Oscar Madhume complained that Mugiya’s position was not clear.

“We certainty need to know who is really representing the accused (Lumumba) because on each appearance, he brings a different legal practitioner. Even the letter written by Mugiya is not clear on his position,” Madhume said.

He also complained that the case had been postponed several times at the defence’s instance.

The case was then remanded to August 11 to allow Lumumba to put his house in order.

Previously, Lumumba made an application to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court, arguing he did not insult Mugabe, but simply expressed his personal emotions.

He told the court it was his constitutional right to express himself in the manner he did before giving further examples that left the gallery in stitches.

Lumumba further said he was privileged to tell Mugabe anything, as he was also a political party leader.

The former Zanu PF activist was arrested last month after he allegedly insulted Mugabe while announcing the formation of his political party.

The State alleges he went on to warn Mugabe that if he meddled with him, being a war veteran’s child, his (the President’s) children will receive similar treatment after he dies.