By Shorai Murwira
An Investigating Officer (IO) who was on stand testifying on the matter of Norton Independent legislature, Temba Mliswa was grilled on Monday and failed to give satisfactory answers.
Mliswa who is applying for his matter to be transferred to Constitutional Court through his lawyer Msindo Hungwe, was cross examining officer Commanding Harare Suburban, Tigere who was insisting that Mliswa committed the crime.
Lawyer Hungwe demanded justification on why the police only arrested his client leaving 25 journalists who also attended the press conference.
The officer could not deny that Mliswa and the journalists are essential services workers and that the number of the journalists who attended did not exceed 30 as prescribed by the law with regards to Covid-19 regulations.
Mliswa is accused of breaching Covid-19 regulations after he allegedly held a press conference at his Borrowdale residence last
“Will I be wrong to say info disem is one of the key functions of MPs,” asked Mliswa’s lawyer Musindo Hungwe.
Hungwe said Mliswa was addressing journalists who are also essential services providers
Asked to confirm if it was a gathering not essential services providers the IO said it is correct but insisted that law was broken because Mliswa gathered many people.
“It doesn’t follow that if you are an MP you can gather as many people as you want. If I may be allowed to add, they are legal issues I may not be able to articulate well and it will be up to the court to decide at the end of the day,” said the IO.
Hungwe said with regards to public transportation, there is a limit to the number of people who can gather at a bus terminus but there is no prescribed limit to the number of journalists who can cover an event.
“Was the partaking of the other 25 n the press conference lawful,” asked Hungwe.
Hungwe also questioned if those participants were above above the law? But the officer could not give a proper answer.
Meanwhile,Mliswa’s ConCourt request ruling is set for April 13