Mliswa ConCourt Referral Request Ruling Set For April 13

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By Mary Taruvinga

NORTON legislator Temba Mliswa will have to wait for a full week to know the outcome of an application he placed before a Harare magistrates’ court seeking referral of his case to the Constitutional Court.

Ruling will be delivered on April 13.

The controversial lawmaker is accused of violating the country’s Covid=19 prevention regulations after he invited some 25 journalists to cover a press briefing he held at his Borrowdale, Harare home February this year.

Hearing on his application continued Monday with his lawyer cross examining police Officer Commanding Harare Suburban, Tigere who insisted that the lawmaker indeed committed the offence as charged.

Mliswa’s lawyer Musindo Hungwe pressed the senior police officer to justify why police stormed Mliswa’s home just to arrest his client, leaving 25 journalists who were covering the ill-fated media briefing.

The lawyer contended the media conference was all in order as the journalists did not exceed the prescribed limit of 30 participants allowed at a single meeting.

Hungwe said the press briefing was also above board as Mliswa was a legislator who had a duty to disseminate information.

“Will I be wrong to say information dissemination is one of the key functions of MPs,” he quizzed the police officer.

Hungwe said Mliswa was addressing journalists who are also essential services providers exempted by the law to practise during the lockdown period.

The police officer maintained Mliswa broke the law by gathering many people at a given time.

“It doesn’t follow that if you are an MP, you can gather as many people as you want,” Tigere said.

“There are legal issues I may not be able to articulate well and it will be up to the court to decide at the end of the day,” said the Investigating Officer.

Hungwe said with regards to public transportation, there was a limit to the number of people who could gather at a bus terminus but there was no prescribed limit to the number of journalists who could cover an event.