Zimbabwe: High Court Blocks Top Prosecutor's Transfer to Guruve Growth Point

17 February 2019

The High Court on Friday called Prosecutor General to order over his plan to transfer a senior staffer Chris Mutangadura to Guruve.

Mutangadura challenged the transfer, arguing that Kumbirai Hodzi, as National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss, did not have power to deploy workers within the NPA.

In his ruling, High Court Judge Hapius Zhou - while indicating that further reasons would follow - said Hodzi had acted illegally and irrationally.

"The Prosecutor General has no power from the Constitution, NPA Act and its regulations to arrogate to himself the power to employ, deploy, assign or transfer NPA employees as such powers are vested in the NPA board.

"By authoring an illegal letter, the PG violated the law and principle of legality," Justice Zhou said.

Justice Zhou added: "Even where the PG had such powers, transferring a Chief Law Officer Heading a specialised Unit in the NPA to a growth point is grossly irrational and arbitrary.

"Even where his conditions of service are the same, it is as irrational as justifying deployment of a Professor of history at a University to teach the same history on the same employment conditions at a Primary School.

"That can only be a manifestation of Mala fides."

According to the ruling, Hodzi's actions had violated Mutangadura's rights to administrative justice and the law officer's legitimate expectation.

"The Constitution and the Administrative justice Act both guarantee due process which the PG deliberately violated.

"Assuming that the PG had powers to transfer NPA employees, he had a duty to give audience and hear the applicant. The unilateral and arbitrary transfer violated those common law principles," reads the judgment in part.

Mutangadura's troubles reportedly revolve around a case in which he is alleged to have failed to apply his mind properly by refusing prosecution without reason during his tenure as head of the Commercial Crimes Unit.

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