By Lance Guma
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HARARE – A High Court judge who ordered the release of human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and also granted a search warrant to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to search the offices of three Zanu PF cabinet ministers continues to be victimised by the Mugabe regime.
Two weeks ago the state owned but Zanu PF controlled Herald newspaper began a campaign to scandalise and vilify Justice Charles Hungwe. Nehanda Radio understands the campaign is in retaliation for the two rulings Hungwe made which had not been sanctioned by the regime.
First was a story penned by Herald Deputy Editor Caesar Zvayi claiming Justice Hungwe “has come under fire from the legal fraternity for denying justice to a 55-year-old man he convicted in 2003 but has failed to sentence over the past 10 years after losing his court records.”
On Tuesday the paper published what it claimed was another scandal involving Justice Hungwe claiming he “unprocedurally granted a notice of withdrawal in a house wrangle pitting Old Mutual chief executive Jonas Mushosho and a man who bought the latter’s property.”
Last month Justice Charles Hungwe issued an order for arresting officers to immediately release detained human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. The police however refused to obey the order and bizarrely a lower Magistrates Court denied Mtetwa bail.
Also last month Justice Hungwe granted the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) permission to search the offices of Mines minister Obert Mpofu, Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, and Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Nicholas Goche.
The commission also pounced on the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) offices which fall under Kasukuwere and Goche respectively.
It was only Justice George Chiweshe who blocked the searches.
Chiweshe is a key Mugabe ally who as past chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission withheld presidential election results for weeks in March 2008, amid reports the period was used to manipulate and massage the figures that denied Morgan Tsvangirai an outright victory over a shocked Mugabe.