THE Registrar of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has invited Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, Attorney-General (AG) and the Prosecutor General (PG)’s offices to approach him to sort out the court record regarding the Tsholotsho North MP’s constitutional challenge.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Moyo’s application challenging the constitutionality of his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) was last month postponed indefinitely on the basis of failing to comply with the Supreme Court rules.
The minister, through his lawyers, Hussein Ranchhod and Company, allegedly failed to properly paginate and bind his court documents, in violation of Rule 43 of the Supreme Court Rules, a move which prompted the full ConCourt bench to decline to entertain the matter.
Part of the letter by the Registrar dated February 23, 2017 inviting Moyo read: “Kindly note that all parties are invited to inspect the record in terms of the Rule 43 (8) of the Constitutional Court on March 8, 2017 at 1400 hours.”
In another letter, however, dated February 10, 2017 which was written by Moyo’s lawyers, three days before the hearing, the minister’s lawyer Terence Hussein highlighted the need to have the court record sorted out before the matter could be argued.
“Our interpretation of the rules is that in terms of Rule 14, each party is to paginate their papers…I respectfully ask that you consider the rule but if you disagree on the need to require inspection by the parties, kindly refer this issue and our letter to a judge for directions so that the matter may be set down as soon as possible,” Hussein said.
But, when the matter appeared in court, the PG’s lawyer, Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, raised a preliminary point arguing Moyo’s court documents had not been paginated thereby making it difficult for his client to follow.
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba then declined to accept the un-paginated record and instead, put to task Moyo’s lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri, instructed by Hussein, to explain why his court papers were not in order.
Although Uriri told the court that the Registrar of the Supreme Court had instructed his client to have the court documents submitted without being paginated, considering the urgency of the matter, his explanation failed to find favour.
Moyo is facing allegations of siphoning over $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund and was briefly arrested by the Zacc last year with a view to take him to court.
He then made a ConCourt application challenging Zacc’s arresting powers. The anti-graft body, however, has since admitted, in its heads of argument, that it has no such powers.
Zacc said there were some police officers seconded to the organisation, who were the ones with arresting powers, including Sergeant Munyaradzi Chacha, who was handling Moyo’s case.