HARARE magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka has deferred ruling on Amalgamated Rural Teacher Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader Obert Masaraure’s application for an exception to the charge of obstructing justice.
Chakanyuka told Masaraure’s lawyer Tapiwa Muchineripi that the State only responded to the application on November 15 while the record was submitted before her early today (Tuesday), hence could not make an improptu ruling.
Oscar Madhume represented the State. The application for exception comes after the State applied for postponement of the matter highlighting that the case has been moved from different courts, hence the prosecutor needs more time to confirm the actual court for trial commencement.
In the written application, Masaraure’s lawyer indicated that both the alternative charge and State outline do not explain how the course of justice was allegedly defeated or prejudiced. The lawyer put the State on notice that if trial fails to take off on the next remand date, November 30, his client will apply for removal from further remand.
Masaraure is accused of posting a message on X (formerly Twitter), demanding the release of his colleague Robson Chere, who had been arrested in connection with the death of an ARTUZ member, Roy Issa, in 2016.
Issa allegedly plunged to his death from the seventh floor of a Harare hotel. An inquest into his death ruled out foul play, but police went on to reopen the docket and filed murder charges against Masaraure and Chere. The human rights activist has several cases pending before the courts including subversion,and breaching COVID-19 safety regulations.