Court strikes down bid to repeal State Liabilities Act

HARARE - The Constitutional Court (Con-Court) has struck off Mutare businessman Tendai Blessing Mangwiro’s application for the repeal of the State Liabilities Act, after ruling that High Court judge Edith Mushore erred in referring the case to the highest court in the land.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba yesterday said that Mushore had no legal basis to make an order for referral to the Con-Court.

Mangwiro lodged the application following his failed bid to recover over $1, 5 million and $78 900 confiscated from him by the police following his 2008 arrest. He was subsequently acquitted of theft charges. He is seeking the repeal of the State Liabilities Act, which he hopes will allow him to attach government property to recover his money.

In his Con-Court application, Mangwiro — who was represented by Tawanda Zhuwarara and Dzimbabwe Chimbga — cited Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Ignatius Chombo and Attorney-General Prince Machaya as respondents.

“The order was without foundation at law and it is the beginning of the problems,” Malaba said.

According to Thabani Mpofu, who represented the respondents, the High Court judge was simply supposed to hand down an order for constitutional invalidity and end there without giving an order for referral of the matter to the Con-Court.

Zhuwarara had applied for an exception in the matter, arguing that the situation was not created by the applicant, but Malaba said that would create a wrong precedence, insisting on the correct procedure to be followed.

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