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Judge Recommends Arrest of Tsvangirai's Lawyers

Suspected MDC youths demonstrating in Harare demanding an election re-run
Suspected MDC youths demonstrating in Harare demanding an election re-run
High court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu has recommended that lawyers representing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a court case he dismissed on Tuesday be arrested for contempt of court.

Mr. Tsvangirai had appealed to the Electoral Court to ask it to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release certain materials used in the July 31 election whose results he is disputing.

But Bhunu said the material and information demanded by Mr. Tsvangirai was massive requiring the opening of more than 9,000 ballot boxes throughout the country in a short period of time. He also said the electoral court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

In his ruling, Bhunu took a swipe at Mr. Tsvangirai’s lawyers whom he described as “unethical” saying they filed an appalling document with scathing remarks concerning the entire judiciary yet the same lawyers were seeking justice before the same judiciary they say they have no confidence in.

The prime minister is alleged to have said the judiciary was an appendage of Zanu-PF.

Bhunu then directed the court registrar to save a copy of the judgement on the attorney general and the prosecuting authority for appropriate action.

He said the legal practitioners had aligned themselves with their client’s contemptuous conduct, hence should share collective responsibility.

Mr. Tsvangirai was represented by a team of lawyers but the state controlled Herald newspaper named Lewis Uriri and Chris Mhike as the two attorneys facing arrest.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana said he is yet to receive the papers from Justice Bhunu but is ready to prosecute if there is a case to answer.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said his party stands by its assessment of the judiciary.