Mahiya case postponed, prosecutors in no-show

The case against Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary for information and publicity, Douglas Mahiya, who is facing charges of undermining the authority of the President, was yesterday postponed after prosecutors failed to show up.

Source: Mahiya case postponed, prosecutors in no-show – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 13, 2016

BY MARY TARUVINGA

The prosecutors, Tapiwa Kasema and Sharon Fero, who are stationed at the High Court, did not turn up, forcing Mahiya’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, to withhold his application for refusal of further remand.

Nkomo notified the court he was ready to make his application and further informed the court the defence’s position still stood.

“We are ready, but we don’t want to put pressure on the State counsel, who is not seized with the matter. We will still challenge further remand on next appearance,” he said.

Nkomo also insisted if the State failed to produce a certificate of prosecution from the Prosecutor-General (PG) on the next remand, the case would not be heard.

Magistrate, Vakai Chikwekwe indicated there was no evidence that a letter had been written to the PG’s Office, saying it could be a problem with the clerk of court.

Chikwekwe recently trashed Nkomo’s application over the certificate, saying lack of the certificate was just another legal defect. He said the certificate would not halt proceedings, but ordered the State to have it ready at the next appearance.

According to the State, between April and July 2016, Mahiya, acting in connivance with other high-ranking ZNLWVA national, provincial and district members still at large, authored a document titled War veterans communiqué on the state of Zimbabwe’s economy, the Zanu PF party leadership and the way forward for the people of Zimbabwe, in which they allegedly made defamatory statements, thereby undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe.

The State alleges Mahiya created the communiqué with the knowledge and realisation that its contents could
engender feelings of hostility or cause hatred, contempt or ridicule towards Mugabe.

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