Mtetwa's Court Case Postponed

Harare Magistrate Don Ndirowei on Wednesday 3 April 2013 postponed to 8 April 2013 the matter in which prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is accused of contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice.


The award-winning human rights lawyer is facing allegations of obstructing the course of justice, reportedly for reprimanding the police for searching the house of her then client and the PM's Principal Legal Advisor Thabani Mpofu, without showing her a valid search warrant.

Magistrate Ndirowei postponed the matter to allow the human rights lawyer's legal representatives, Advocate Thabani Mpofu and Harrison Nkomo, to file an application challenging her placement on remand, and for the State to furnish Mtetwa with a trial date. The lawyers will argue that no offence was disclosed by the State and thus Mtetwa should not have been placed on remand.


Meanwhile, four staffers from  the Prime Minister's office, who are accused of having been found in possession of "dockets € also, appeared before the Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday April 4.


Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde, Mehluli Tshuma and Warship Dumba all appeared before the Harare Magistrates Court around mid-day after the initial morning hearing stood down the matter on the score that the prosecuting team could not locate police dockets.


The four stand accused of being found in possession of alleged "dockets € that were confiscated when police raided No. 4 Bath Road in Belgravia, in the capital Harare, a day after the historic constitutional referendum. The "dockets € are said to be apparently fingering top Zanu-Pf government officials involved in corruption.


The state alleges that the accused persons intended to use the supposed "dockets € for criminal use.


After the prosecutor begged the court to have the matter stood down for the second time  and be heard in the afternoon, the Magistrate Donald Ndirowei considered the defense counsel's opposing contention.


The four PM staffers' lawyer, Alec Muchadehama argued that the delays by the State showed it needed more time to prepare its case and indicated he would be occupied at the time the State implied it would be ready.


Muchadehama had sought a postponement to May 2, but the Magistrate ruled that the matter would be heard on Thursday April 5, considering the State's submission that it would want to give the accused persons a trial date as soon as possible.


The matter was heard before a different magistrate and the Attorney General's Office assigned a different set of prosecutors.


Meanwhile, four other staffers of the PM's office have been picked up for questioning and later released since Mtetwa and the first four were arrested on March 17.



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