Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko yesterday dismissed an application for refusal of further remand by MDC-Alliance legislator for Kuwadzana East Chalton Hwende. Hwende is charged with subverting a constitutionally-elected Government.
His lawyer, Mr Reginald Mutero, submitted that the State would suffer no prejudice if his client was removed from remand. He told the court that the State was failing to furnish a trial date on time, thereby violating his client’s constitutional rights.
Mr Mutero said the State could just call Hwende back to court by way of summons. “The State cannot use the remand process to violate the accused person’s rights,” he said.
Mr Mutero said according to the Constitution, his client has the right for a speedy trial.
The State opposed Hwende’s application, arguing that he was facing a very serious offence which requires vigorous investigations and formalities before he could be furnished with a trial date.
In dismissing the application, Mrs Mateko said Hwende was facing a serious offence. She said investigations in the matter could not be taken lightly since it was not a simple case.
“Four months cannot be taken as a delay considering the complexity of the matter,” said Mrs Mateko. “The court is satisfied by the progress made by the State so far, therefore the application is dismissed.”
Mrs Mateko deferred the matter to August 19.
It is alleged that during the period extending from December 28 to 31, 2018, Hwende posted on his Twitter handle messages that in their nature had the effect of inciting people to revolt against Government both in his personal capacity and as a Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana East constituency.