HIGH Court judge Justice Phildah Muzofa has ordered Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to respond, within seven days of receiving the court’s order, to Intratek Zimbabwe director Wicknell Chivayo’s request to have his South African lawyer granted an exemption certificate.

The businessman, whose acquittal on a US$5,6 million fraud charge has been challenged by the Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi, approached the High Court seeking an order to compel Ziyambi to respond to his request for an exemption certificate to enable Advocate Zacharius Joubert SC, to represent him in the appeal set for February 10.

Chivayo’s application came after the Registrar of the Supreme Court indicated to his lawyers, Musunga and Associates that the PG’s appeal had been set down for hearing.

However, Chivayo, who was previously represented by Advocate Adrian de Bourbon said, his lawyer of choice, Advocate Joubert SC, had not yet been granted authority to appear before the Zimbabwean judges.

- Advertisement -

Chivayo said his efforts to secure a lawyer of choice, however, had been hampered by Ministry of Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza, who on behalf of Ziyambi, denied his (Chivayo) application “on the basis that South Africa is not a reciprocating country as such advocates from that country could not be allowed to participate in Zimbabwe”.

But, after deliberating on the matter Justice Muzofa ruled in Chivayo’s favour.

“The first respondent (Minister of Justice) be and is hereby directed to make a decision on applicant’s (Chivayo) application dated September 6, 2019 within seven days of notification of this order. Leave be and is hereby granted to the applicant’s legal practitioners to effect service of this provisional order upon the respondents or their legal practitioners,” the judge said.