Connect with us

NEWS

Walter Magaya fails to shake off rape trial

Published

on

Walter Magaya

The High Court has dismissed an application for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries founder Walter Magaya who is challenging the decision to continue prosecuting him for allegedly raping a congregant.

Magaya, who is represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, in April filed an application at the Harare High Court challenging the State’s decision to continue with his prosecution in light of the complainant’s confession that she had filed a false rape report against him.

The alleged victim and prime witness in the matter, Petronella Donhodzo Mandaza, has since sued Prosecutor-General Ray Goba at the same court contesting the State’s decision to subpoena her, arguing she is no longer a complainant in the matter having confessed to falsely accusing Magaya of rape. Harare High Court judge Justice Emy Tsanga ruled that Magaya’s application lacks merit. She said conducting the trial, which started on April 3 this year is within the dictates of the constitution.

“The application for leave to appeal lacks merit. The legal provisions and procedures laid out in the Criminal Evidence and Procedure Act on the conduct of a criminal trial do not in any way interfere with the accused’s right to a fair trial,” she said. The judge said there was nothing unconstitutional about the State proceeding with the trial on the basis of a reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed.

“Applicant appears to have been led to misconstrue his right as is the liberty to do whatever he wants to do as the basis of constitutionalism as opposed to doing what is correct within the confines of appropriate procedures laid down in the law. Furthermore, whether or not his constitutional rights have been or are being violated can only be properly assessed once this court has heard the State case against him from the evidence,” said Justice Tsanga.

In dismissingWalter Magaya’s application, Justice Tsanga said the proportionality analysis is key in deciding whether the infringements of rights complained of are either justified or unjustified.

“The court is then seized with a criminal trial and must pre-emptively hold that the trial should not take place when the State itself says it has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a crime was committed. The trial should therefore proceed and the application for leave to appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed,” ruled the judge.

Walter Magaya in his application wanted the court to acquit him on the grounds of the confession made by Mandaza under oath. He argued that the State had no basis to continue with the trial, saying it was unconstitutional under the circumstances. In his affidavit, Magaya said having already pleaded to the charges, he was entitled to his acquittal in terms of section 180(6) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

Magaya said there is also an affidavit which supports an application made by the complainant in which she states that she was never raped.
Magaya queried why the prosecution wanted to have its star witness arrested when she had filed an application seeking to be excused from testifying, saying the move was meant to violate his rights.

He argued that there are certain constitutional questions he strongly feels the High Court should determine. Walter Magaya wanted the court to determine whether or not the decision of the prosecution to bring him to trial amounted to harassment and in breach of the protection of the law guaranteed as encapsulated in section 56(1) of the Constitution and, therefore, an abuse of court process. He cited several constitutional provisions in an attempt to prove that his rights were being violated.

The State, through the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), opposed the application saying it was unprocedural. The State said the order sought by Walter Magaya was a mockery to the criminal justice system in that he wanted a dismissal of his matter without a hearing yet he had a case to answer.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + two =

NEWS

Mugabe buried in a tamper-proof casket

Published

on

Robert Mugabe Burial

Robert Mugabe was buried in a tamper-proof casket because he feared that people would “use my body”, according to his family.

He was buried at Kutama village, his rural home village, on Saturday, near his mother, instead of the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

Mugabe’s nephew and family spokesperson, Leo Mugabe, told Zimpapers Television Network that “he wanted to be buried next to his mother but there is no space there” so the family elected to bury him, at a private ceremony, in the same village as his mother.

Asked about the speculation around the family changing his casket, Leo said: “Originally, why we changed is because we wanted a tamper-proof casket because you know, with rituals and things like that, people are really after his body, body parts, so we wanted something that was tamper-proof. That is why the casket was changed in the first place.”

He said it was Mugabe’s idea in the first place.

He explained that Mugabe had previously expressed concern about what would happen to his body after death.

“He said to his wife … ‘If and when I’m gone, don’t leave my body. Be careful, people want to use my body.’ It was him who said it to the former first lady.

“We knew that spiritually he probably knows something,” said Leo.

The family kept the body at home the night before he was buried in keeping with his wishes.

AFP reported that family members threw white roses into the grave as the coffin, draped in navy blue velvet, was lowered to its final resting place in the courtyard of his rural home, about 90 kilometres from Harare.

A boys choir from Mugabe’s old high school sang in the background.TimesLive

Continue Reading

NEWS

Robert Mugabe’s family rejects government burial plans

Published

on

Mugabe

The family of Robert Mugabe has said he will be buried in his home town in private, in an apparent snub to the government, which wants to inter him at a national monument.

Leo Mugabe, a nephew of Zimbabwe’s late ruler, said the ceremony would probably be held early next week in Zvimba district, about 60 miles (95km) north-west of the capital, Harare. “That is the decision of the family since last night unless something changes,” he told the Guardian.

Many of Mugabe’s relatives oppose government plans for the funeral and burial of the man who ruled the country for nearly 40 years before he was ousted in a military takeover in 2017.

The ruling Zanu-PF party announced that Mugabe’s remains would be interred at a hilltop monument outside Harare on Sunday, after a ceremony at the nearby national stadium on Saturday, where dozens of prominent African leaders would be present.

However, friends and allies of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, have said he made clear he would prefer to be buried in Zvimba with only close relatives in attendance. They said Mugabe did not want his death to be exploited by his successors for political gain.

A meeting on Thursday between Mugabe’s family and officials at his home in Harare ended without agreement. Walter Chidhakwa, a spokesman for the family, said the funeral would go ahead but not the planned burial.

Earlier, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe as president, said he had appealed to the family to set aside any bitterness. They are reportedly unhappy about his treatment of the former leader.

“Let bygones be bygones. The family is going to lead the programme, that’s why we haven’t released anything. We haven’t agreed how he will be buried,” Mnangagwa said.

The president, a veteran of the ruling Zanu-PF party and a decades-long close associate of Mugabe, said: “We will have to sit down first with Grace. As the government, there’s nothing we will do to go against your wishes. Let’s unite, he was our father.”

Mugabe died in a clinic in Singapore last week, aged 95. His body arrived on Wednesday, on a government-chartered private jet, at Zimbabwe’s main airport, where thousands of supporters had gathered.

On Thursday his casket was taken to a sports stadium in Harare, where thousands of onlookers packed the stands to see Mugabe lie in state for public viewing.

Several people were injured in a crush as they surged forward to try to view the casket. Some people were carried away on stretchers. The severity of their injuries wasn’t immediately clear.

Riot police later restored order, at times using batons to strike those waiting in a line.

Grace Mugabe sat on the podium to the side of the sports field while Mugabe’s casket was under a tent at the centre of the field. A military helicopter later landed on the field and took off after the coffin was placed inside.

Though much of his 37 years in power were marked by violence, economic mismanagement and corruption, the former guerrilla fighter is still revered as a liberation leader. Many in Zimbabwe see him as a national hero, remembering his role in the war against white rule. The Guardian

Continue Reading

NEWS

Stampede at Mugabe’s memorial at Rufaro Stadium

Published

on

Stampede at Robert Mugabe’s memorial

Several people have reportedly been injured in a stampede at the viewing event for founding Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, as those in attendance jostled in an attempt to see the late leader’s body.

Prior to this, it was reported that Mugabe’s body had arrived at Rufaro Stadium in Harare where the ceremony is taking place on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier, the body was taken to Mugabe’s Harare villa, known as the Blue Roof for its blue pagoda-style structure, where family and supporters gathered to mourn.

His body has since been laid out for the public at the stadium and will later be transported to his homestead Zvimba for a wake.

Thousands are in attendance to pay tribute to the former leader.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre monument.
These plans were rejected by the late former president’s family, who say the body will be displayed in his home village of Kutama on Sunday night, adding that he will then be buried in a private ceremony.

“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night followed by a private burial – either Monday or Tuesday – no National Heroes’ Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” Mugabe’s nephew Leo told the AFP news agency.

In a statement, the family said: “We note with extreme concern the manner with which the government of Zimbabwe has developed the programme for the funeral of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe without consulting his immediate family, who were tasked with communicating his last wishes in regard to his funeral and burial.

“As his immediate family, we have also observed with a shock that the government of Zimbabwe is attempting to coerce us to accept a programme for the funeral and burial of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe, which is contrary to his wishes on how he wished to have his mortal remains interred.

“As the immediate family of the late Mugabe, we are ready and willing to work with the government of Zimbabwe to develop a programme for the funeral and burial of the late Mugabe which is in conformance to his wishes on how his mortal remains will be interred.

“One of the wishes that Mugabe indicated was that his wife, Dr Grace Mugabe, must never leave the casket bearing his remains for the duration of the funeral proceedings while in Zimbabwe up until his mortal remains have been interred.

“To that end, we confirm that honourable Walter Chidakwa may communicate our position with relevant authorities to ensure that we develop a programme that conforms to the wishes of the late Mugabe. We have also tasked honourable Patrick Zhuwao to disseminate this statement.”

Mugabe died on a medical trip to Singapore, where he had been travelling regularly for treatment. A delegation including a vice president flew to Singapore to bring him home.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, former Cuban leader Raul Castro, and a dozen African presidents, including South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe’s state funeral on Saturday in Harare, said Zimbabwe’s presidency.The Citizen

Continue Reading

Trending