Buyanga appeals High Court judge’s ruling; arrest warrant against him remains cancelled 

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By Mary Taruvinga, Senior Reporter

PROPERTY tycoon Frank Buyanga, currently holed up in a South African jail, has filed a Supreme Court appeal against High Court’s ruling reinstating his arrest warrant.

The noting of an appeal works better for the top businessman as it technically puts back everything to where it was.

It means the arrest warrant which was cancelled by Harare magistrate, Judith Taruvinga, for being erroneous remains cancelled.

Buyanga was arrested in South Africa earlier this month by the Interpol after his ex-girlfriend, Chantelle Muteswa reported him over a slew of charges, including kidnapping their eight-year -old son.

The warrant issued against him was initially cancelled by magistrate Taruvinga who found it was erroneously issued.

However, High Court judge, Justice Pisirai Kwenda, Wednesday controversially set aside the magistrate’s ruling blocking Buyanga’s freedom.

Kwenda Wednesday set aside Taruvinga’s ruling despite that Buyanga had sought his recusal from hearing an application for review by the State, which was unhappy with the magistrate’s ruling.

He had appealed at the Supreme Court after Kwenda refused to step down from hearing the case.

The Supreme Court Wednesday granted the hearing of Buyanga’s appeal but Kwenda went on to reinstate the warrant of arrest well aware that the Supreme Court had allowed the appeal against him to be heard.

This prompted the latest Supreme Court appeal.

In the latest appeal, the businessman, through his lawyers, Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners said Kwenda erred in failing to entertain the State’s appeal that was before him and making a ruling based on what he had read in the newspapers.

“Take notice that the appellant hereby appeals against the whole judgement of the High Court of Zimbabwe handed down at Harare by Kwenda J on the 30th of November 2022 with whom Chikowero J concurred…. Further take notice that leave to appeal against the judgment is unnecessarily as the judgement being appealed against was final,” reads part of his court application.

His grounds of appeal were that “The court aquo erred at law  and grossly misdirected itself by holding that the learned magistrate Ms Taruvinga had no jurisdiction to cancel a warrant that she issued in terms of section 33 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act when such power was expressly given to her in section 33 (3).

“The lower court erred in finding that  magistrate Taruvinga had misconstrued the application before her to be a default enquiry by virtue of a heading of transcript  of proceedings when the application before the magistrate and her judgement clearly showed that she was fully alive to the fact that what was before her was an application for cancellation  of a warrant of arrest.”

Buyanga said the judge erred in finding that magistrate Taruvinga had no jurisdiction to cancel a warrant she issued .