Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
HAVING spent 14 hours in a waiting room preparing for a public interview, a Harare lawyer had his dreams of becoming the country’s Prosecutor-General shattered when the panel conveyed the shocking news of his automatic disqualification. Former regional magistrate Mr Peter Mufunda was ushered into the interview room at Rainbow Towers on Monday at 11pm only to discover that he did not meet the standard requirements.
The law requires nominees for the esteemed office to have at least 10 years’ experience as a registered legal practitioner, but Mr Mufunda had only practised for nine years and nine months.
The 14 hours spent in the waiting room were surely put to waste.
Clad in a designer suit, Mr Mufunda took to the interviewee’s seat.
A bottle of mineral water, water glass and a box of facial tissue paper had been placed on his table, to enable a smooth interview process.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba welcomed Mr Mufunda to the interview before brewing a shocker.
“Mr Mufunda can you take a pen and paper and calculate the number of years you have practised from the date you registered as a legal practitioner.
“Our calculation shows that you were nine years and nine months after registration when you accepted nomination,” said the Chief Justice.
After some seconds, Mr Mufunda confirmed that indeed the panel was right.
“I agree with you. I have realised that I misinterpreted the provisions,” said Mr Mufunda.
The Chief Justice asked Mr Mufunda to leave, indicating that entertaining him would be a violation of the Constitution.
“It is unfortunate that you do not make up the 10-year minimum period of practice.
“We have to follow the Constitution and we cannot entertain you in this interview.
“We do appreciate your effort. You may try next time. You are, therefore, free to leave,” said Chief Justice Malaba.
Mr Mufunda was escorted out of the room by ushers, to pave way to the last nominee Mrs Florence Ziyambi.