Con-Court slams 'incompetent' lawyers

HARARE - The Constitutional Court (Con-Court) has warned that it will flex its muscle on lawyers that fail to properly advise their clients and threatened to slap them with costs for presenting such cases.

Deputy chief justice Luke Malaba said this during the hearing of a case in which the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union dragged Triangle Limited, Hippo Valley Estates Limited, Mkwasine Estate, Zimbabwe Sugar Association Experiment Station and Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira to court challenging employees’ dismissal from work after embarking on an industrial action.

Malaba said it is high time that the court takes action on lawyers that ill-advise their clients.

“The court should flex its muscle and use the applicant in this matter as an example…,” he said.

Malaba said there was no need for the Union to approach the Con-Court without exhausting other remedies.

He told the Union’s lawyer, Tungamirai Chinhengo, who appeared together with Paul Mangwana, that he should have first approached the Labour Court to have the matter resolved and then the Con-Court on appeal, if need be.

Malaba also said by approaching the Con-Court, without exhausting other avenues, Chinhengo had undermined the authority of subordinate courts.

Chinhengo, however, said he was making the application in terms of Section 85 of the Constitution, resulting in Malaba questioning him whether he knew the law more than the judges.

“Where there are disputes of fact, the matter has to be resolved by a lower court,” Malaba said, before removing the matter from the roll with costs.

Earlier on, the Con-Court had dismissed Maraki Chatikobo’s case in which he is challenging the outcome of a Police Service Commission ruling which found him guilty following extortion charges.

Chatikobo was arrested in 2014 on extortion charges before he was cleared of the charges by the courts.

He, however, claims he was later found guilty under the Police Act on a different charge from the one placed before him.

Chatikobo argued that his right to be heard was violated.

His lawyer, Joyce Sithole, yesterday sought to have the matter removed from the roll, arguing that there were certain issues that needed to be attended to before the case is heard. Despite, Sithole’s explanation that her client was once a self-actor, before the matter was taken over by another lawyer from their law firm, Malaba said they had ample time to prepare for the case.

Sithole said the lawyer who was handling the case had since left the law firm.  However, Malaba said the law firm had four months within which to rectify any anomalies in the case.

He said the court cannot allow lawyers to do what they want, considering that judges had prepared to hear the case.

“You really think you can come to this court and say what you are saying and get away with it?” Malaba asked, before Sithole opted to withdraw the matter.

Malaba argued that there was need for a good reason for the matter to be withdrawn, before he dismissed it.

Comments (2)

The public also demands an unbiased con-court bench. Chidyausiku is ZANU PF advisor. So Malaba tinyararire check yourself first.

Maraba - 13 October 2016

if the judges themselves are competent as they want the lawyers to be, they should not allow Newbert Saunyama the police officer to use posa which is unconstitutional in banning demos

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 14 October 2016

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