Chipanga seeks stay of prosecution

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By Mary Taruvinga

Former Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipang Tuesday approached the High Court again seeking temporary relief of proceedings against him in a case in which he is accused of communicating falsehoods.

Chipanga lodged his application with the High Court a day after he called for the arrest and charging of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga over his utterances on November 13, 2017 when he allegedly threatened army intervention to stop former President Robert Mugabe from firing him as the head of the army.

The former MP is facing charges of communicating falsehoods, causing dissatisfaction in the army and undermining public confidence in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) following a press conference which they held as Zanu PF youths at the party headquarters with his co-accused Innocent Hamandishe and Rodney Dangarembizi.

Now he is seeking the court’s blessing to have the trial stayed until the State furnishes him with Chiwenga’s statement forming the basis of his allegations.

Together with his alleged accomplices, they contend they cannot effectively proffer their defences in the absence of the statement.

“On April 23, 2019 applicants (Chipanga, Hamandishe and Dangarembizi) appeared before the second respondent (Edwin Marecha)…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.

They submitted that the state still wants to continue with their prosecution despite that they have a pending High Court application.

“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,” they said adding: “…the application for review will be rendered academic should the application for review succeed.”

Chipanga said if what he allegedly said was criminal, Chiwenga should also be arrested for treason because his statement was seditious.

In his statement of November 13 2017, Chiwenga declared the military will not allow Mugabe to continue purging members of the party with liberation war background.

Chipanga responded a day later daring the army saying the youths would die for Mugabe, a statement now constituting the criminal charges against him.