Court rejects Nyagura bid to shut out ‘Mnangagwa prosecutors’

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By Mary Taruvinga

A HARARE court has trashed former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) vice chancellor, Levi Nyagura’s application challenging prosecution by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special anti-corruption unit prosecutors.

Magistrate Lazini Ncube ruled their appointment cannot be rendered invalid as they were picked up by the prosecutor general (PG).

“It is the court’s view that the prosecutors cannot be described as invalid because they are qualified and were appointed by the PG although it was the President’s idea.

“It was not challenged that the appointed prosecutors have no qualifications, in other words, no evidence was produced to show they will be biased,” ruled the magistrate.

Following this, Nyagura, through his lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri told court that he will approach the Constitutional Court directly with his application.

Prosecuting, Tapiwa Godzi said he will respond to the application this Friday.

Nyagura is facing criminal abuse of duty charges after he illegally awarded former First Lady Grace Mugabe a doctorate without following procedures in 2014.

On Wednesday he stalled commencement of his trial after he complained that the special anti-corruption unit was an unlawful entity to handle his case.

Nyagura also reiterated that the prosecutors had no authority to present his case before any other court before he applied for referral of his case to the constitutional court.

He further argued that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the PG should be independent but, in this case, the prosecutors were likely to take orders from Mnangagwa who established the unit in May this year to accelerate fight against corruption.

A special court was also set up at Harare Magistrate’s court.

Godzi is being assisted by Michael Chakandida from the special anti-corruption unit.