War vets take Bob insult case to ConCourt: WAR VETERAN leaders who are accused of authoring a communique insulting President Robert Mugabe on Monday asked the Harare Magistrates court to refer their case to Constitutional Court and also relax their reporting conditions.
Through their lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Harrison Nkomo and David Druly, the five Francis Nhando, Victor Matemadanda, Hoyini Samuel Bhila, Headman Moyo and Douglas Mahiya argued that State infringed on their rights upon arrest.
They also argued that there was no reason for them to be under stringent reporting conditions as they will never flee a country they liberated.
“The accused fought for the fruits of freedom which everyone enjoys now. Three of them stay outside Harare and they continue forking out money coming to Harare for their routine remand yet they receive very small pensions. They will have to stay overnight and pay for accommodation which they don’t even afford,” said Mtetwa who spoke on behalf of the lawyers representing the accused.
Constitutional issues raised include unlawful detention; remand as well deprivation of food and an opportunity to see lawyers while in detention.
Mtetwa said access only became possible after hours of waiting adding that the lawyers had to provide transport for an official from the Law and Order section who, according to the law, should always be present when lawyers meet their detained clients.
“When Matemadanda was sought, similar considerations applied and no access was had for the entire day, on August 2,” she said
Prosecutor, Tapiwa Kasema, however, said the conditions should not be altered as there were no any changes with regards to the accused’s circumstances.
He said he will respond to constitutional issues raised on September 13.
Magistrate Bianca Makwande is expected to deliver her ruling on the issue of relaxation of reporting conditions on Tuesday.
According to the State, the communiqué allegedly made defamatory statements thereby undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe.
The State alleged that the five created the communiqué with the knowledge and realisation that its contents might engender feelings of hostility or cause hatred, contempt or ridicule towards Mugabe.
Title: War vets take Bob insult case to ConCourt
Author: New Zimbabwe
Source: New Zimbabwe