Former Zanu-PF activist William Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba, who is facing charges of undermining President Mugabe, yesterday made an application challenging his placement on remand on the basis that the Prosecutor-General did not authorise his prosecution.
Through his lawyer, Mr Arshiel Mugiya, Lumumba argued that the letter which authorised his placement on remand was not authored by the Prosecutor- General as required in terms of Section 34 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
“Your Worship, Section 34 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is clear on that an accused person who is being charged for undermining the authority of the President, the authority of the Attorney-General now the Prosecutor-General, must be sought,” he said.
“A reading of that letter produced by the State purportedly authored by the PG, clearly point out that someone authored it not the PG. Your Worship the authority given to the PG cannot be delegated. No one else purporting to be acting on his behalf can validly do so.”
In response, prosecutor Mr Oscar Madhume assisted by Mr George Manokore argued that there was a section which allows the PG to delegate his powers.
“Your Worship, Section 6 (2) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act empowers the PG to delegate his powers to any legal practitioner in his office.
Also Section 11 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which the defence is also basing on, talks of the local public prosecutor not the AG, hence the section is irrelevant to the application he is making,” he said.
Mr Madhume questioned why Mr Mugiya had not challenged the letter when Lumumba was placed on remand on the basis of the same letter, adding that his application was misplaced.
“The application is placed before a wrong court because if there are any grievances, the accused should have approached the superior court for review because the court already made a determination to place the accused on remand on the basis of that document which is now being challenged,” Mr Madhume said.
“I am actually surprised by the nature of his application because I tendered the letter of authority with his consent and it is now part of the record, why did he not object on the day it was tendered?”
The State advised the court that it was ready to proceed to trial.
Harare provincial magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe deferred the matter to Monday next week for ruling.
It is the State’s case that on June 30, Lumumba, who was addressing people during the launch of his political party, said: “Mr President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, f*** you. I am drawing the red line, our kids are in trouble so it is a red line I know and my name is Lumumba, Lumumba Lumumba .