BY CHARLES LAITON
HIGH Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda yesterday expressed anger over the manner Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s lawyers, have been advising their client in the on-going divorce matter which is before the courts.
Justice Kwenda made the remarks while presiding over a matter in which Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi’s office approached the High Court with a bail variation application, seeking to compel Chiwenga’s estranged wife, Marry to surrender her second passport and to provide an alternative place of residence.
This was after Marry had been denied access to her matrimonial Borrowdale Brooke home by
soldiers deployed by the Vice-President.
But, as the matter was being heard, State representative Sharon Fero, who was being assisted by Albert Masamha, submitted to the court that Chiwenga’s lawyer Wilson Manase had confirmed that Marry’s second passport was at the VP’s office.
Marry’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, chipped in and told the court that in fact, Manase had “attempted to hand over the passport to her client (Marry) through the back door despite the fact that he (Manase)
had been protesting that his client (the VP) did not have it”.
Justice Kwenda then interjected saying he was frustrated by the manner Chiwenga’s lawyer was advising his client, adding his conduct was not consistent with a seasoned lawyer.
“His (Manase) conduct is not consistent with that of a seasoned legal practitioner. He detained this court well knowing the position of the passport… he is an officer of the court and is supposed to assist and give guidance to the court,” Justice Kwenda said.
“My complaint is about the lawyer failing to advice the client properly. It is not about the complainant (Chiwenga).”
On January 29, Manase also wrote to Mtetwa denying any knowledge of Marry’s second passport, which denial the court said was regrettable.
Part of the letter from Manase and Manase’s law firm addressed to Mtetwa read: “Please be advised that our client is not a party to the pleadings before the bail court and any attempts to draw us into the mud fight are taken with great exception. With respect, this attempt to self-create a set of facts to justify your intended course of action is futile in the circumstances. Surely your client is the custodian of all her passports. The same way she surrendered one of the passports is the same way she must surrender the remaining passport she has always been in custody of her documents…”
After submissions from both the State and Marry’s lawyer, the parties agreed that Marry will be temporarily staying at her mother’s address in Glen Lorne and judgment in the bail variation matter will be delivered on Tuesday next week.