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Sparks fly over judges ‘capture’

A Constitutional Court judge has come out guns blazing against a litigant who accused the bench of being captured by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Justice Bharat Patel said Tichaona Mupasiri must apologise and be censured after he accused the court of being captured.

Mupasiri said the ConCourt was captured in his application to join a case  involving Mnangagwa and his lawyer Edwin Manikai on one hand and businessman Mutumwa Mawere, friends of Shabani and Mashava Mines on the other hand.

In his judgement, Patel gave Mupasiri an ultimatum to apologise saying his language brought the judiciary into disrepute.

“It is ordered that the applicant (Mupasiri) be and is hereby censured for his use of inappropriate language in his founding affidavit casting aspersions on the integrity and impartiality of the court,” Patel said.

“The applicant shall file with the registrar a letter of apology in respect of his conduct referred to in paragraph | above by not later than 4.00 pm on the 23rd of September 2022.”

Mupasiri’s application for a joinder was, however, granted and with no order for costs.

“The applicant shall lodge his application and founding papers in Case No. CCZ 27/22 on or before the 30th of September 2022.

“The matter shall thereafter proceed in accordance with the rule,” he ruled.

Mupasiri had filed a ConCourt application seeking to be joined in the court proceedings citing Mawere, SMM Holdings Limited, Africa Resources, TAP Building Products and Mnangagwa as respondents.

On December 17, 2021, Mupasiri launched an application to have him joined to the ConCourt proceedings over Shabani Mashava Mines Holdings.

On December 24, Mupasiri received opposing papers through DMH legal firm whose managing partner was implicated in the case.

This was despite his application having been served on the president as a public office bearer under Section 167 of the constitution.

Mupasiri then wrote to Manikai, one of the DMH managing partners, on December 27 challenging the authority of DMH to represent Mnangagwa in his official capacity as the president when the law says it should be done by the attorney-general (AG).

Mupasiri then filed an interlocutory application on January 25 this year which was dismissed, and the matter was allegedly “swept under the carpet”.

Mupasiri was later slapped with a costs order in a constitutional matter which involved the president who was never served with the copy of his application because his office, including the AG’s office, refused to accept service.

On May 27, Mupasiri filed an appeal against the cost order, but Chief Justice Luke Malaba dismissed the appeal saying even wrong decisions by the ConCourt are not appealable or reviewable.

Mupasiri argued his application was meant to test the rule of law and constitutionalism in the country.

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