ConCourt gives High Court Judge Hungwe 30 day ultimatum

The Constitutional Court today gave High Court Judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, a 30 day ultimatum to furnish it with reasons behind the delay in the conclusion of a murder case which has seen Jerusalem Apostolic Faith Church founder, Jonathan Mutsinze, spending over ten years in remand prison awaiting his judgement.

Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, said that failure by Hungwe to comply with the order would give Mutsinze’s lawyers permission to file a contempt of court report.

In May last year, Mutsinze made an application at the High Court in which he argued that his liberty was now a constitutional matter.

He further argued that due to his long stay in remand prison, he should be permanently absolved from the murder charges.

Mutsinze spent a total of 16 years in custody, the last 10 years of which he has been awaiting judgement.

His judgement was delayed after the record of proceedings was reportedly lost, resulting in Hungwe failing to pass judgement.

In giving his order today,Chidyausiku, said: “The court directs that within 30 days, the Registrar of the High Court files an affidavit on the status of the record in this matter, in particular the stage of the reconstruction of the record.

"The presiding Judge should furnish to this court the reasons for the delay in the conclusion of this matter within the given period of 30 days.The Registrar of this court is directed to set down this matter on the next available date upon the filing of the above documents.”

Mutsinze is facing charges of murdering Lesmore Kange and Willis Konje sometime in 1998.

His last court appearance was in 2003 when he appeared before Hungwe and filed an application for discharge arguing the State had failed to prove a case against him.

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