MDC lawyers challenge constitutionality of draconian law

judgementHarare Magistrate, Jackie Munyonga, will tomorrow make a ruling on an application made by MDC lawyers challenging the constitutionality of Section 121 sub section 3 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which when invoked suspends a bail order from the courts.

Tomorrows ruling comes after the State had denied the granting of bail to MDC director-general, Toendepi Shonhe. Shonhe, had his bail ruling on trumped-up charges for perjury reserved to today, but the State opposed the ruling by the magistrate on granting him bail after it invoked the draconian Section 121 sub section 3.

He had been granted a US$500.00 with stringent reporting conditions.

The MDC lawyers, however, challenged that the Section derogates the provision of the Constitution and cited that it was being abused by the Attorney-Generals (AG) office.

The lawyers then applied for the matter be referred to the Supreme Court on the premise that it ultra vires the Constitution.

The MDC is contesting that since the inception of that law in 2000, there has been no appeal that has been successfully prosecuted by the State.

The AGs office is not using the Act professionally or objectively against those it perceives to be political opponents.

Shonhe, who is being charged for perjury under Section 183 (1) of Criminal Law and Codification Reform Act, is accused of having lied under oath when he swore to an affidavit that three members of the MDC had been re-abducted by State security agents.

The three activists, Lloyd Tarumbwa, Fani Tembo and Terry Musona, had been taken by the State security agents from their homes in Banket for interviews at the Attorney Generals Office.

The MDC calls for the immediate release of its director-general, Toendepi Shonhe.

Post published in: Politics

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