The Constitutional Court has dismissed Professor Jonathan Moyo’s application challenging the legality of his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).
The challenge emanates from the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister’s arrest by ZACC officers last year on allegations of abuse of office, fraud, corrupt concealment from a principal of personal interests in a transaction, and obstruction of the course of justice.
At the Constitutional Court, Professor Moyo’s application sought for an order pronouncing that ZACC has no arresting powers, his arrest be declared unlawful and nullification of the warrants that allowed the investigators to conduct searches.
The application cited Sergeant Munyaradzi Chacha, ZACC, the Commissioner General of Police and the Prosecutor General as respondents.
After the Constitutional Court reserved judgment on the case in June this year, the judgement was finally delivered today.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba said there was no proper legal basis on which the applicant approached the Constitutional Court, the material dispute of facts generated by the application would be resolved by the magistrate’s court and that the matter for determination does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.
Chief Justice Malaba said when the applicant was arrested, the intention was to bring him before a magistrate for initial remand, adding that it is during these proceedings that the applicant ought to have challenged the lawfulness of his arrest.
On the issue of ZACC not having arresting powers, the judgment read that the law governing the resolution of the matter required Professor Moyo to appear before a magistrates court to challenge the lawfulness of his arrest.
Chief Justice Malaba added that the question whether ZACC complied with the statutory provisions on the lawful arrest is not a constitutional matter.
Chief Justice Malaba judged that the challenge to the validity of the warrants for search and seizure in the Constitutional Court was also misplaced.
He said a dispute as regards the lawfulness or otherwise of such warrants does not require interpretation and application of the constitution rather the interpretation of the act which was pointed out by the applicant.