THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has filed a court challenge against the acquittal, two years back, of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) board chairperson Beatrice Mtetwa.
Mtetwa’s acquittal followed a high profile trial which drew local and international condemnation after she was charged with the obstruction of justice.
ZLHR spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda confirmed the new developments to NewZimbabwe.com.
“Acclaimed human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa who is also our board chairperson will be appearing in court on Monday, the 26th of October before High Court Judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze who will preside over the hearing on the request filed by NPA seeking leave to appeal against her acquittal about two years ago.
“The NPA feels the lower court improperly acquitted Mtetwa but we believe that this is just fresh onslaught against her.”
Mtetwa was arrested and charged with the of obstruction justice when she allegedly blocked police from arresting four MDCT officials.
The trial magistrate cleared Mtetwa on the charges saying that evidence produced in court does not constitute an office.
But the NPA is arguing that magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa erred and misdirected herself when she cleared Mtetwa.
“The lower court erred in failing to observe that her utterances against the police were clearly meant to disturb the police form executing their duties,” says NPA in its papers.
Reached for comment opposition politician Obert Gutu said, as a practising lawyer he would not want to appear as if he was unduly interfering with the proper administration of justice.
“But it’s rather strange and unusual that the NPA would like to resuscitate a matter that is more than two years old,” said the MDC-T spokesman.
“The temptation is to conclude that this is tantamount to persecution of the accused person … after all there is well establishes principle that states that there should be finality to litigation.”