Chipanga seeks stay of prosecution

BY CHARLES LAITON

Former Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga has approached the High Court seeking stay of his criminal trial at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

Chipanga is being charged together with Innocent Hamandishe and Rodney Dangarembizi for allegedly communicating falsehoods, causing dissatisfaction in the army and undermining public confidence in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces following a Press conference they held at the Zanu PF Headquarters in Harare at the height of the ruling party’s factional fights almost two years ago.

However, Chipanga and his co-accused have argued that they cannot proffer their defences in the absence of a statement by Chiwenga, which formed the basis of their prosecution.

In his court application, Chipanga and his colleagues said the State appeared determined to continue with their trial despite the fact that they made an application for further particulars, which was dismissed after which they filed an application for review at the High Court, which application is still pending.

“On April 23, 2019, applicants (Chipanga, Hamandishe and Dangarembizi) appeared before the second respondent (Edwin Marecha.NO) … On the same day, applicants applied for an order directing first respondent (State) to supply applicants with certain particulars and on May 22, 2019, the second respondent dismissed the application,” Chipanga’s lawyers said in their affidavit.

“The matter was postponed to June 11, 2019 for trial commencement. On June 6, 2019, applicants obtained a copy of the untyped record of proceedings to enable them to file an application for review … as soon as the application for review was issued, applicants filed an urgent chamber application for stay of proceedings.

“Applicants, thus, seek an order for stay of their prosecution pending finalisation of the review proceedings in the High Court. Should the trial proceed, the application for review will be rendered academic should the application for review succeed.”

The former Makoni West MP and his co-accused are being represented by Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni.