Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent
Deputy Prosecutor General Mr Micheal Reza has described Tendai Biti’s application for referral of his assault case to the apex court as frivolous and vexatious.
Biti is facing charges of manhandling investor Mrs Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court.
In his application, Biti blames Zanu PF Secretary for Finance Patrick Chinamasa for infringing his rights.
He also blames The Herald, police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and secretary for Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana for also infringing his constitutional rights from the day he was arrested till now.
In his response, Mr Reza said an application to the Constitutional Court is not granted at the drop of a hat.
“There have to be valid grounds before it can be granted. The court is obliged to refuse to grant the application if, in its considered opinion, the application is merely frivolous and vexatious,” said Mr Reza.
He said in for Martin V Attorney General and Another 1993 (1) ZLR 153(S) it was held that the ordinary and natural meaning of the words “frivolous and vexatious” in the context of the Constitution had to be borne in mind and applied to the facts by the person presiding in the lower court to form the requisite opinion.
He further stated that Gubbay CJ at 57 said in the context of S24(2) the word “frivolous connotes in its ordinary and natural meaning, the raising of a question marked by a lack of seriousness; one inconsistent with logic and good sense, and clearly so groundless and devoid of merit that a prudent person could not possibly expect to obtain relief from it.
“The word “vexatious”, in contra-distinction, is used in the sense of the question being put forward for the purpose of causing annoyance to the opposing party in the full appreciation that it cannot succeed.
“To add to what the learned judge described “frivolous” as, one may add that such an application would be flippant, waggish, jokey. facetious, inane, shallow, superficial, senseless, thoughtless, ill- considered, non-serious, daft, flimsy, time wasting, trivial, petty, worthless, valueless, pointless, niggling, peripheral, hare-brained. All the above adjectives, without exception, fully capture the application that has been submitted by the accused person,” he said.
Mr Reza added that where the question of a violation of a fundamental right arises during proceedings before a subordinate court, the court or the party to the proceedings can refer the matter to the Constitutional Court in terms of Section 175(4) of the constitution.
” In case, the accused person, being a party to the proceedings, made an application for referral to the Constitutional Court.