Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna (Zanu PF), who is accused of unlawfully discharging a firearm in public and engaging in acts of violence, has approached the High Court seeking to stop the criminal proceedings, accusing the magistrate of denying him access to legal representation.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
In his application, he cited the State and Chegutu magistrate Judith Taruvinga as first and second respondents respectively.
Nduna is jointly charged with Munyaradzi Simango (30) and Takemore Maphosa (18) on public violence charges and discharging a firearm during Zanu PF primary elections in May this year.
In an urgent application filed at the High Court yesterday through his lawyers Chambati Mataka and Makonese, Nduna is seeking a temporary stay of the criminal proceedings.
“The second respondent is honourable Judith Taruvinga cited herein in her official capacity as the presiding magistrate in the matter between myself and the State under Criminal Record Book (CRB) Number CHG647-76/18
“This is an application in which I am seeking on an urgent basis a temporary stay of criminal proceedings at Chegutu Magistrate Court. There can be no basis in the era of the modern constitutional jurisprudence for a court of law to deny an accused person legal representation.
“The applicants herein were denied the right to fair trial in terms of the precincts of the constitutional provision which my legal counsel shall amplify in heads of argument,” he said.
In the High Court papers, the MP said Taruvinga cannot be allowed to go ahead with the trial under such circumstances.
“In any event, even if she was to try and proceed with the case, the applicant would jump to apply that she recuses herself. The second respondent clearly failed to protect the rights of unrepresented accused persons and instead did the contrary,” he said.
“In the meantime the criminal trial against me before the second respondent is supposed to proceed to the defence case on Monday 8 October 2018. I therefore approach this court on an urgent basis seeking interim relief for the stay of the criminal proceedings… pending determination of my application for review. It is my humble submission that I do not have any other remedy available to me save to approach this court for the interim relief being sought.”
Allegations are that Nduna and his supporters engaged in violence at Chinengundu Primary School, which led to the injury of one person.
The legislator allegedly fired five rounds of ammunition from a .9mm pistol.
The skirmishes were reportedly triggered by a misunderstanding between Nduna and his rival in the Chegutu West constituency primary elections.