Mnangwagwa undermined Zimbabwe’s judiciary: Expert

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Legal expert Advocate Fadzayi Mahere says Zimbabwe’s president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s announcement that opposition leader Tendai Biti was released following his intervention undermined public confidence in the country’s judicial system.

Mnangagwa made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday.

Biti was granted bail of $5000 in Harare and ordered to hand over the title deeds to his house.

He had tried to flee to Zambia amid a police crackdown in Zimbabwe on those alleged to have instigated the Harare protests as the national election results were being released last week.

He’s been charged with false declaration of election results and inciting violence.

Mahere says: “There is absolutely no constitutional basis for the president when he announced to intervene in a formal legal process. Biti was brought before a court, having been charged with two offences. There’s no role for the president there in terms of the constitution. He doesn’t get to call the magistrate and prosecutors and by the way the national prosecuting authority also has a constitutional obligation to be independent. The president doesn’t get to pull strings for people and say I intervened. That’s a complete breach of the independence of the judiciary.”

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