The trial of three MDC Alliance activists which Harare Magistrate Bianca Makwande insisted should proceed despite a pending application for her recusal has been stalled by the High Court.
Joana Mamombe who is the Harare West MP, and her two colleagues Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova are accused of falsehoods after they reported their alleged abduction by State security agents last year to the police.
NewsDay reports that High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi said the urgent chamber application filed by the trio to stop the trial has been moved to 13 May and their trial has to be stopped to allow a Higher Court’s decision on the matter. Justice Chitapi ruled:
The hearing of the urgent application is postponed to 13 May 2021 at 2:30 pm. The trial of the three applicants in case number CRB ACC 45-47/20 is hereby temporarily stayed pending the determination of this urgent application.
To enable determination of the matter and to meet the request of the parties, for the transcript of proceedings in the said case to be availed at the applicants’ costs.
The three through their lawyer Alec Muchadehama are seeking recusal of the presiding magistrate Bianca Makwande and prosecutor Michael Reza who they accuse of being personal.
They submitted that they will never have a fair trial as long as Makwande and Reza are handling their case.