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High Court trashes businessman's lawsuit against PG and four magistrates

by Staff reporter
18 Sep 2022 at 11:51hrs | Views
THE High Court has dismissed a lawsuit against four Harare magistrates and the Prosecutor General (PG) filed by controversial property developer George Katsimberis.

Katsimberis had sued  the PG  Nelson Mutsonziwa alongside Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, magistrates Barbara Mateko, Noel Mupeiwa, Stanford Mambanje and Letween Rwodzi complaining that he was not getting favourable responses in his court applications.

In this case, he said in June 2020, he has been appearing before the cited magistrates as a witness in a criminal case where Pokugara Properties, in a similar business, was charged  with perjury and malicious damage to property.

He was charged with fraud on the same circumstances in the case he was the witness.

Katsimberis complained that this was in violation  of his rights and was seeking a permanent stay of proceedings in the case he is a suspect.

But High Court judge Justice  Siyabona Musithu ruled that he failed to justify his complaints.

"It is the conclusion of this court that the applicant  has failed to discharge the minimum threshold  set out in the aforementioned authorities to justify the court's interference  with the  unterminated proceedings of the lower court.

"Applicant's counsel advised  that an application for referral of the matter to the Constitution  Court was dismissed by the lower court.

"One wonders  why that decision was not appealed against at that earlier stage of the proceedings if the applicant was indeed serious  about having the alleged constitutional infractions scrutinised by the apex court.

The judge said there was no firm foundation laid for interfering with the unterminated proceedings of the lower court and granting the relief sought.

Katsimberis had claimed that the entire process was so warped to the extent of constituting an absurdity in view of the many postponements and disruptions of trial dates.

He  had alleged he was the first to make a police report.

In response the respondents argued that in that case Pokugara Properties was the first to make a police report against Katsimberis saying he opened his own two months later.

Court heard that for unknown reason the police processed Katsimberis docket first as opposed to Pokugara.

They further submitted that Katsimberis misrepresented that his building plans were approved but senior City of Harare officials submitted documents stating that the Plans were never approved.

But the judge ruled that he was supposed to support the relief he sought.

"This court will only interfere where there is a clear demonstration of grave injustice having been occasioned as a result of the parallel prosecution of the two matters. That has not been done and for that reason, the court does not accept the submission that the right to remain silent, which is intertwined with the right against self-incrimination has become illusory," the judge said.

Source - NewZimbabwe