Opposition leader Ngarivhume’s appeal postponed again as prosecutor falls sick

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE High Court was on Thursday once again forced to postpone the case in which opposition activist, Jacob Ngarivhume is appealing against his conviction and sentencing for inciting public violence.

Ngarivhume was convicted of inciting public violence after calling for nationwide protests on July 31, 2020.

He was sentenced to four years imprisonment over the offence but is serving three years effective after part of his jail term was suspended conditionally.

On Thursday, prosecutor Tozivepi Mapfuwa sought a postponement of the hearing to Monday stating that his colleague Fungai Nyahunzvi who is handling the matter was not feeling well.

The postponement was granted with consent after Professor Lovemore Madhuku who is representing Ngarivhume told the court that he is yet to receive the State’s heads of argument.

Appeal judges however noted with concern that the matter was continuously being postponed and ordered that the matter be allocated to another prosecutor.

“We are aware that Mr Nyahunzvi has not been well but this matter has been delayed for too long. We expect that someone will take over this matter,” said Kwenda.

Mapfuwa said he can take over and prepare the heads.

The prosecutor promised to file heads by the end of business Friday.

Kwenda then ordered that the matter be postponed to Monday 11 December at 10 am for argument.

“The position we take is that we will not postpone the matter on Monday. The matter has to take off.

“It is also ordered that the State shall file heads of argument on the 8th of December.

After the proceedings, Madhuku told the press that he expects the judgement to be handed down on Monday.

“We expect the judgement on the same day because like the judge said this is a very simple matter. This is because this is not a complex matter.

“The issue is very narrow… it’s about whether our client owned the Twitter account that was relied upon. No one was called from Twitter. No one was able to produce evidence that he owned the account.

“The magistrate simply didn’t believe him. The magistrate just said you are lying…and we want to see how the High Court will deal with that,” he said.