By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa said he will be approaching the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) seeking an “immediate” removal from remand after being convinced that his arrest was “illegal”.
This comes after his application to be removed from remand was dismissed by magistrate Tafadzwa Miti on Wednesday. Mliswa was remanded out of custody after paying Z$20 000 to the Clerk of Court.
The Independent legislator was arrested last month after conducting a press conference at his Borrowdale home and charged for contravening section 5 (3)(a) of the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) (Consolidation and Amendment) Order, 2020, of Statutory Instrument 200/2020 as read with Statutory Instrument 10/2021.
Speaking to the media outside court, his lawyer Musindo Hungwe confirmed that the magistrate had dismissed Mliswa’s application to be removed from remand.
Hungwe said his client had advised him to approach the ConCourt in his bid for freedom.
“Magistrate has determined the matter against us but of course we totally disagree with that. We have placed the state on notice that we are going to be lodging an application for referral to the ConCourt of the issues that relate to Honourable Mliswa’s liberty as well as to his right to immediate or prompt release. Clearly, the arrest was illegal,” he said.
“The similar press conference was convened by Professor Lovemore Madhuku but no one was arrested. Former Vice President Kembo Mohadi held a press conference, no one was arrested. The President himself occasionally holds press conferences.
“Press conferences are being held by the minister of information every day they left the cabinet and no one has been arrested. But because this particular press conference has been held by Temba Mliswa, he has been arrested. This is not a uniform application of the law. Hon Temba Mliswa has not been accorded to his constitutional equality.”
Before his arrest, Mliswa had conducted the press meeting to “clear allegations” made by his estranged girlfriend Susan Mutami who set Twitter ablaze after posting that she is three months pregnant with the independent Member of Parliament’s twins.
But during the presser, Mliswa alleged that State Security minister Owen Ncube and Local Government Minister July Moyo were targeting him which many argue prompted his arrest.