Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
The High Court has stayed proceedings in the case of former president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, who is facing charges of unlawfully detaining Zimbabwe Airways former secretary Ms Bertha Zakeyo pending its determination in his appeal against the dismissal of his application for discharge.
Chikore is jointly charged with Simbarashe Mutimbe, who was the company’s security guard.
His lawyer, Mr Jonathan Samukange, tendered an order from the High Court to Harare magistrate Mr Nyasha Vitorini which stayed proceedings at the lower court awaiting the higher court’s determination on his client’s appeal against the dismissal of his application for discharge.
Mr Samukange asked the court to postpone the matter to September saying it will not be heard this term.
“This matter will not be heard this term even if the State is to file its heads of arguments tomorrow. Cases for these matters are now full,” he said.
He told the court that the matter can only be heard in September when the second term opens.
In response, prosecutor Mr George Manokore told the court that the matter should be postponed to July arguing that September was too far.
“The accused persons will suffer no prejudice if this matter is postponed to July,” he said.
Mr Samukange replied saying it would be unreasonable to set down the matter for July and that it would be a punishment to the accused persons since it would not be heard.
Mr Vitorini deferred the matter to September 17.
In her evidence-in-chief, Ms Zakeyo claimed Chikore directed Mutimbe to bar her from leaving Zimbabwe Airways offices until she handed over her phone.
“The security guard, who was holding the remote control to the gate, approached the driver’s side of my vehicle and said ‘I am very sorry madam, but Captain Simba Chikore has told me not to let you leave the premises until you hand over the phone’.”
It is alleged that Chikore, who was then Zimbabwe Airways boss, connived with Mutimbe and unlawfully detained Ms Zakeyo for hours, thereby depriving her of her freedom.