Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) vice president and advocate, Nelson Chamisa, has stepped in as the replacement lawyer for William Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba.
Lumumba is being tried for allegedly undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe when he used the vulgar F-word on him as he launched his political party last month.
He is a former Zanu PF provincial secretary for tourism in the party’s Harare province and unsuccessfully contested the Hatfield seat in the 2013 general elections.
Chamisa, who was recently appointed MDC-T co-vice president alongside Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe, has replaced Arshiel Mugiya as Lumumba’s lawyer.
The Viva Zimbabwe president was back in court on Tuesday where he is seeking his case to be referred to the Constitutional Court.
Chamisa notified the court that he had taken over from Mugiya and needed two weeks to peruse the court record.
“Your Worship, we are seeking a postponement of this matter on account of developments that have taken place. The application for postponement involves constitutional rights, the rights to a fair trial which the accused is entitled to.
“My client is entitled to choose a legal practitioner of his choice. Since I am now the one representing him, I am seeking a postponement of the matter so that I go through the record and Your Worship two weeks would suffice,” said Chamisa.
Lumumba had previously challenged his placement on remand but the application was dismissed, prompting him to argue that his constitutional rights were being abused.
“The constitution that empowers the State to put me where I am today is the same constitution that protects my freedom of speech and expression. The same constitution allows me to be a citizen of this country who can disapprove of a person who I believe works for me (Mugabe).
The provincial magistrate, Vakayi Chikwekwe, however, gave Chamisa seven days to peruse the court record, remanding the matter to 2 August. The prosecutor, Oscar Mandhume, had proposed only three days.