Mliswa Freedom Bid Hits Snag

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By Mary Taruvinga

AN attempt by Norton Independent MP Temba Mliswa to secure his freedom flopped Wednesday after Harare magistrate Tafadzwa Miti dismissed the application challenging arrest and placement on remand.

Mliswa landed in the dock last month on allegations of breaching Covid-19 regulations after he held a press conference at his Borrowdale residence.

He was granted bail on his initial appearance before challenging his placement on remand.

Mliswa argued his arrest was unlawful because he was essential services worker who was arrested while addressing journalists, who are also in that category. The outspoken legislator also argued in court his place of residence was a private space.

However, prosecutors argued he was not conducting any parliamentary business on the day he was arrested.

“It is court’s view that these are triable issues and dealing with such at this stage would be meddling with the merits of the case,” said Magistrate Miti.

The magistrate said by opening his place to members of the public, he had created a public space adding Covid-19 regulations were put in place by the government to stop all gatherings.

“Otherwise people would have continued gathering in their places of residences thereby defeating the meaning of the law,” she ruled.

The lawyer then gave notice to make an application for referral of the case to the Constitutional Court.

The matter was remanded to March 22.