via MDC-T officials’ trial referred to con court | The Herald by Tendai Rupapa October 21, 2013
The case of four MDC-T officials accused of compiling illegal dockets against Government officials has been referred to the Constitutional Court.Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde and Mehluli Tshuma, all former public prosecutors, and Warship Dumba, a former Harare city councillor, are facing charges of impersonating the police, possessing articles for criminal use and breaching the Official Secrets Act.
The quartet, through their lawyers Mr Alec Muchadehama and Mr Chris Mhike, raised constitutional issues, which they said could only be dealt with at the Constitutional Court.
They argued that their rights were violated during their arrest accusing the police of inhuman treatment. In his ruling magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe said the quartet’s application was not frivolous and vexatious.
“Most of the things accused persons alleged were not disputed by the State. The State did not dispute that some of the documents which the accused are being prosecuted for, implicated the Attorney General and some of his officers so the Constitutional Court must determine whether the accused persons should be prosecuted by the same office.
“The Constitutional Court must also determine whether it is proper for the police to apply for a search warrant to themselves and execute it themselves.
“The accused persons highlighted that the police cells were filthy and not looked after, the State said whereas the cells were smelly and dirty, the accused persons were not the only ones who experienced the smelly conditions. Therefore the State failed to dismiss this allegation,” he said.
The quartet was remanded to November 29 after they unsuccessfully applied for stay of remand proceedings. Allegations against the four arose on March 17 when detectives received information that they were in possession of dockets they were privately compiling to discredit the judicial system.
It is alleged, in the dockets, that they claimed that the police and the AG had failed or refused to investigate cases of corruption involving prominent people in Government.
It is alleged the four had documents of police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s background and another titled Case for a full investigation into the Ministry of Lands-system of issuing offer letters September 1, 2009.
A team of detectives went to Mpofu’s home and found some of the documents. The State alleges that the suspects indicated that they were legal advisors to the then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and were researching on alleged corruption and criminal abuse of office and the appointment of Comm-Gen Chihuri.