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What is govt doing about ‘PG Hodzi going back to law school’ – Mliswa

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

Outspoken Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has asked the government what it is doing about High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi’s guidance to have Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi sent back to law school because of ‘his failure to familiarise (himself) with the country’s statutes’.

Temba Mliswa and Kumbirai Hodzi
Temba Mliswa and Kumbirai Hodzi

Two months ago Justice Chitapi dismissed Hodzi’s appeal against bail being granted to suspected serial armed robber, Musa Taj Abdul, his accomplices Rudolph Tapiwa Kanhanga and Godfrey Mupamhanga. The trio was granted bail by High Court judge Benjamin Chikowero last December.

In his ruling, Chitapi said: “The applicant is advised to familiarise his office with important judgments of this court and the Supreme Court on key operational areas of law like bail generally. I have no doubt that the applicant may well have been advised not to mount this unmeritorious application.”

Speaking in Parliament recently, Mliswa asked Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi what his ministry was doing about “that statement from a judge who is saying the Prosecutor General must go back to Law School.”

“Thank you for entertaining this question which is very important to the Second Republic, it is about the selective application of the law. The recent judgment by Judge Tapi even said that the Prosecutor General must go back to law school.

“In his judgment it is there and it is in the public domain. For a judge to issue such a statement, talks about the failure of the Prosecutor General’s office to conduct its duties, that is a big statement. What is the Minister doing about that statement from a judge who is saying the Prosecutor General must go back to Law School.

Mliswa said he was a “victim of victimization” following claims he had been arrested 76 times “and acquitted 76 times and you said it here that if you have been acquitted, that is victimization.”

“So, why is victimization carrying on, the record is there on my acquittals. Any system which has so many acquittals over one person must be re-examined from the police, Prosecutor General because there are 3 pillars which are different.

“The police arrests, the prosecution prosecutes and the Judiciary issues a judgment. So with such a record what have you done, Minister in ensuring that the Prosecutor General after that judgment which is public, which you know yourself castigated the Prosecutor General for selective application of the law and bringing cases to court which do not mean anything.

“So, to me it is important for you to respond to that judgment, unless you do not know anything about it, I can bring it before this House so that you respond to it,” he added.

The outspoken MP alleged that the country’s judiciary system was being used selectively by authorities to settle personal scores.

“Speaker this is an emotional one for me because the selective application of the law, we cannot use State apparatus to settle personal scores, the State remains the State for everyone.

“We are going back to the First Republic where more human rights violations have escalated than any other time, what do you say about that,” he said.

Respondenting to Mliswa, Ziyambi said: “I never said an acquittal is victimization. In fact, it shows that our judiciary is working very well. So, I do not think the Hon. Member heard me correctly, I never said if somebody is acquitted it means the system is victimizing that particular individual. So, that is a correction.

“Secondly, the Hon. Member is mixing issues. When he was prosecuted, the current Prosecutor General was not there, so I will not make reference to issues that he raised because it is not the same person who was there.”

Ziyambi added the issue was contested, but he believed Justice Chitapi was “very dramatic,” adding that the Judge was supposed to address issues that were on the appeal papers and not become personal. Nehanda Radio