Home » Judicial » AG Clears Confusion Over MISA Court Application [press release]

The Attorney General Prince Machaya has confirmed assertions by the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo that he did not instruct the AG to oppose MISA Zimbabwe’s constitutional court challenge against criminal defamation.

Last week Chris Mhike who is representing MISA Zimbabwe in its Constitutional Court application wrote to Machaya asking him to clarify the authenticity of the opposing affidavit purportedly filed by the AG in the pending case.

Mhike’s letter followed reports in The Herald edition of 11 March 2015 quoting the AG and Professor Moyo disowning the opposing affidavit in question.

However, on 16 March 2015, the AG filed a supplementary affidavit to correct the opposing affidavit in question by deleting all references to Professor Moyo who is cited as the second respondent in the matter.

The AG conceded that he had not received any instruction from the minister to file the opposing affidavit on his behalf as transpired with the initial papers deposed with the Constitutional Court on 9 March 2015.

“I wish to apologise to this honourable court for the oversight on my part, and to request that the opposing affidavit be read as an affidavit deposed to only on behalf of 1st respondent and myself,” said Machaya in his application for admission of the supplementary affidavit.

The AG who is the third respondent in the matter had on 9 March 2015, purportedly filed the affidavit on behalf of Professor Moyo and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa who are the respective first and second respondents. (visit MISA Zimbabwe’s earlier communiqueacute at www.misazim.com for detailed background information).

The Attorney General attributed the confusion that ensued thereafter as arising from miscommunication between him and Tsitsi Zvedi the chief law officer in the AG’s Civil Division.

MISA Zimbabwe is the first applicant while journalists Nqaba Matshazi, Sydney Saize and Godwin Mangudya, are the second, third and fourth respective applicants in the matter. The fifth applicant is Roger Deane Stringer an independent publishing consultant.

Source : Media Institute of Southern Africa