Concourt throws out Nyagura challenge
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
FORMER University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice-Chancellor Levi Nyagura, accused of illegally awarding former First Lady Grace Mugabe a PhD, will now stand trial at the Harare Magistrates’ Court after the Constitutional Court threw out his challenge.
Nyagura was challenging a decision by the Prosecutor-General to delegate his prosecutorial powers to Mr Tapuwa Godzi and Mr Michael Chakandida of the Presidential Special Anti-Corruption Unit.
Last year, Nyagura argued before a Harare magistrate that the decision by the PG’s decision was unconstitutional to that end, he sought the matter to be referred to the Constitutional Court.
Based on the arguments presented before him, the magistrate ruled on the merits of the case and decided that the PG had acted lawfully.
Nyagura, through his lawyers, instead of appealing the decision, filed a chamber application for direct access to the Constitutional Court.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba dismissed the request, saying Nyagura had adopted the wrong procedure.
“The applicant invoked a wrong remedy in a bid to redress the decision of the court a quo on the constitutional questions he raised in the criminal proceedings in that court,” he said.
“If the applicant was of the view that the decision by the court a quo was wrong, he had the remedy of appeal for the redress of the decision.
“A wrong judicial decision does not, however, give rise to a ground for an alleged violation of the right to equal protection of the law.”
Chief Justice Malaba said once a subordinate court renders a decision on the constitutional question, the dispute arising therefrom can only be resolved by way of appeal.
The trial will proceed at the magistrates’ court with Mr Godzi and Mr Chakandida representing the PG.
Advocate Lewis Uriri, instructed by Muzangaza Mandaza and Tomana Legal Practitioners, on behalf of Nyagura, had cited infringement of constitutional rights to a fair trial in the failed Constitutional Court application.