(Last Updated on December 16, 2020 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
HARARE – High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou on Tuesday set aside Magistrate Ngoni Nduna’s ruling which barred Beatrice Mtetwa from representing veteran journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.
Justice Zhou instead disqualified Magistrate Nduna from presiding over Chino’no’s criminal trial and ordered that a new Magistrate presides over the case.
Magistrate Nduna had barred the veteran human rights lawyer from representing Chino’no after the State had argued Mtetwa was undermining the case by posting material related to the case on a Facebook page, ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law.’
This was despite submissions made by Mtetwa that she does not control the said page rather it was owned and controlled by American filmmaker Lorie Conway.
In their application for review, Mtetwa and Chino’no argued the ruling was “unprecedented in our constitutional order” and that it had the effect of depriving Chin’ono of his chosen counsel.
Advocate Taona Nyamakura representing Mtetwa and Chin’ono further argued before Justice Zhou that “there is need for professionalism and respect of rights of accused persons and that the filing of State’s application in Magistrate court which led to the barring of Mtetwa was malicious.”