Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
THE High Court has granted an order for temporary stay of proceedings in a matter in which former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairman Stanley Kazhanje is jointly charged with Intratrek boss Wicknell Chivayo, on bribery charges.
Kazhanje approached the High Court yesterday, arguing that he was not ready to proceed to trial as he wanted to acquire a record from another case where he was convicted on almost similar allegations.
He was jailed for a year for concealing a US$10 000 transaction he received from Chivayo in a botched tender deal.
But, the former ZPC board chair was brought back to court where he is being jointly charged with Chivayo on bribery charges.
Kazhanje then approached the High Court seeking an order to temporarily stay proceedings at the magistrates’ court saying he wanted to acquire the court record to use in preparing his defence. The former ZPC board chairman cited Chivayo and his Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited, magistrate Pasipanodya Maturure and the Prosecutor-General as respondents.
“The applicant filed an application to review the decision of the third respondent to dismiss applicant’s application for a postponement on the basis of the need to obtain court records in another matter to which the applicant had been convicted.
“In its judgment, the court prematurely pre-empted all the applicant’s exceptions and defences before the same had been raised and dismissed. In so doing, the court a quo effectively denied the applicant adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence as provided in Section 70 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“The court a quo erred in effectively dismissing an exception which had not yet been made. In so dismissing it, consequently denied the applicant the right to protection and benefit of the law and the right to a fair, impartial and independently conducted trial as provided in Sections 56 and 69 of the Constitution.
“The court took away vested rights when same had not been activated, leaving the applicant with no remedy at law.
“The above being constitutional rights, they go to the very roots of not only the applicant’s own rights, but the proper administration of justice and the supremacy of Constitutional rights,” said Kazhanje in his urgent chamber application prepared by his lawyers from Mhishi Nkomo Legal Practice.
Justice Phiri granted the order for temporary stay of proceedings.
Yesterday, Kazhanje also appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court along with Chivayo, where they also sought a postponement of the matter pending the High Court’s determination on his application for stay of proceedings.
Chivayo asked for the matter to be deferred to another date as he was not prepared to commence trial saying his lawyer of choice was out of the country. He was being represented by Mr Wilson Manase, who was standing in for Advocate Lewis Uriri, who is representing the Intratrek boss. Kazhanje and Chivayo are expected back in court on January 12 next year.