Thursday, June 20, 2024

Zimbabwe: Buyanga's Woes Mount As Supreme Court Throws Out His Appeal Against Arrest Warrant

Jailed property tycoon, Frank Buyanga’s woes continue to mount after the Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal.

Buyanga, who is currently locked up in a South African jail is facing a slew of criminal charges both in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

He had approached the Supreme Court in December last year appealing against a High Court ruling reinstating his warrant of arrest.

The noting of the appeal meant the arrest warrant which was cancelled by Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga for being defective was to remain cancelled.

But the Supreme Court has declined jurisdiction to hear his appeal making an arrest warrant against him active again.

“Whereupon, after reading submissions filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that the court declines jurisdiction in this matter,” reads a brief judgement by the Supreme Court bench chaired by Justice Susan Mavangira.

Buyanga was arrested in South Africa late last year after his ex-girlfriend, Chantelle Muteswa reported him over a slew of charges, including kidnapping their eight-year -old son.

The warrant issued against him was initially cancelled by Magistrate Taruvinga who found it was erroneously issued.

The National Prosecuting Authority appealed against the Magistrate’s ruling at the High Court.

However, the High Court set aside the magistrate’s ruling blocking Buyanga’s freedom.

Despite that Buyanga had sought the recusal of the presiding judges of appeal, Pisirayi Kwenda and Benjamin Chikowero from hearing an application for review by the State, which was unhappy with the magistrate’s ruling.

He had appealed at the Supreme Court after Kwenda refused to step down from hearing the case.

The Supreme Court then granted the hearing of Buyanga’s appeal but Kwenda went on to reinstate the warrant of arrest well aware that the Supreme Court had allowed the appeal against him to be heard.

This prompted the latest Supreme Court appeal which has been declined.

In the appeal, the businessman, through his lawyers, Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners said Kwenda erred in failing to entertain the State’s appeal that was before him while alleging he made a ruling based on what he had read in the newspapers.

“Take notice that the appellant hereby appeals against the whole judgement of the High Court of Zimbabwe handed down at Harare by Kwenda J on the 30th of November 2022 with whom Chikowero concurred…. Further take notice that leave to appeal against the judgment is unnecessarily as the judgement being appealed against was final,” reads part of his court application.