Zimbabwe: Magistrate Insists On Handling Chin'ono Case

15 September 2021

Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Tuesday dismissed an application by journalist Hopewell Chin'ono challenging trial commencement stating that he has lodged a request for the magistrate to recuse herself at the High Court.

Muchuchuti ruled that justice delayed is justice denied as such trial should commence.

The magistrate also ruled that there was no a High Court order barring her from handling the trial as yet.

Chin'ono's trial is now expected to start on October 19 this year.

The journalist through his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa Monday had alleged that Muchuchuti has prejudged him.

Monday, the lawyer said it would be unfair for Muchuchuti to preside over Chin'ono's trial as she has already determined his fate.

Chin'ono is being accused of inciting the public to commit public violence after he retweeted a post by politician Jacob Ngarivhume calling for anti-government protests last July.

The State had asked the court that they were ready for trial, but Mtetwa objected saying she had another matter at the High Court.

Mtetwa also said Muchuchuti could not preside over the trial since she had already suggested that Chin'ono had a case to answer during an application for exception.

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