Wednesday 21 October 2020


JOURNALIST Hopewell Chin’ono, who is accused of inciting the public to commit public violence, has filed an application for the recusal of the presiding magistrate Nyasha Nduna.

Chin’ono, who was represented by Gift Mtisi and Doug Coltart, elected to file a written application before the clerk of court and oral submissions later.

Coltart said Chin’ono had numerous applications which he was supposed to file before the Harare magistrates, adding that their first step was to seek Nduna’s recusal.

“The defence wishes to apply for your recusal from this matter. We want to file the application in writing and we commit to file that application by today. We want this application to be dealt with this week,” Coltart said.

But the State led by Whisper Mabhaudhi and Tendai Shonhayi said Chin’ono’s application was not urgent.

“The accused person did not give the reason why he wants the removal of the magistrate. He conceded that the application is not urgent by considering the matter next week. We can even file our response on November 2 for oral submission,” Mabhaudhi said.

Nduna, however, in his ruling on the application for postponement by the State said Chin’ono’s matter was not urgent and that there was no evidence submitted in relation to the application.

“It is lawful for the accused to make such an application, but the court is cognisant of the fact that once a person is allocated a case, that person should handle the case properly to finality. Accused person is not rendering evidence to the court that his lawyer Advocate Taona Nyamakura is going to undergo examination out of the country,” Nduna said.

“The accused did not also produce any form of documentary evidence that he seeks to undergo toxicology tests in South Africa. This shows that the application may not be serious.”

He said the State also had a right to study the application in order to make a meaningful response and that the accused person had the right to be represented by a lawyer of his choice.

Nduna said the earliest date for hearing of the application was November 2.

The State and defence then agreed to file their written submissions for the application by close of business tomorrow and the State will respond by October 28.

Nduna recently made headlines after denying Chin’ono bail twice and turning down the journalist’s several other court applications.

He also stopped Chin’ono’s lead counsel Beatrice Mtetwa from representing him, saying she had interfered with court processes. Newsday


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