Buyanga’s woes mount as Supreme Court throws out his appeal against arrest warrant*

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JAILED property tycoon, Frank Buyanga’s woes continue to mount after the Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal.

Buyanga, who is currently locked up in a South African jail is facing a slew of criminal charges both in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

He had approached the Supreme Court in December last year appealing against a High Court ruling reinstating his warrant of arrest.

The noting of the appeal meant the arrest warrant which was cancelled by Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga for being defective was to remain cancelled.

But the Supreme Court has declined jurisdiction to hear his appeal making an arrest warrant against him active again.

“Whereupon, after reading submissions filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that the court declines jurisdiction in this matter,” reads a brief judgement by the Supreme Court bench chaired by Justice Susan Mavangira.

Buyanga was arrested in South Africa late last year after his ex-girlfriend, Chantelle Muteswa reported him over a slew of charges, including kidnapping their eight-year -old son.

The warrant issued against him was initially cancelled by Magistrate Taruvinga who found it was erroneously issued.

The National Prosecuting Authority appealed against the Magistrate’s ruling at the High Court.

However, the High Court set aside the magistrate’s ruling blocking Buyanga’s freedom.

Despite that Buyanga had sought the recusal of the presiding judges of appeal, Pisirayi Kwenda and Benjamin Chikowero from hearing an application for review by the State, which was unhappy with the magistrate’s ruling.

He had appealed at the Supreme Court after Kwenda refused to step down from hearing the case.

The Supreme Court then granted the hearing of Buyanga’s appeal but Kwenda went on to reinstate the warrant of arrest well aware that the Supreme Court had allowed the appeal against him to be heard.

This prompted the latest Supreme Court appeal which has been declined.

In the appeal, the businessman, through his lawyers, Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners said Kwenda erred in failing to entertain the State’s appeal that was before him while alleging he made a ruling based on what he had read in the newspapers.

“Take notice that the appellant hereby appeals against the whole judgement of the High Court of Zimbabwe handed down at Harare by Kwenda J on the 30th of November 2022 with whom Chikowero concurred…. Further take notice that leave to appeal against the judgment is unnecessarily as the judgement being appealed against was final,” reads part of his court application.

His grounds of appeal were that “the court aquo erred at law and grossly misdirected itself by holding that the learned magistrate Ms Taruvinga had no jurisdiction to cancel a warrant that she issued in terms of section 33 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act when such power was expressly given to her in section 33 (3).

“The lower court erred in finding that magistrate Taruvinga had misconstrued the application before her to be a default enquiry by virtue of a heading of transcript of proceedings when the application before the magistrate and her judgement clearly showed that she was fully alive to the fact that what was before her was an application for cancellation of a warrant of arrest.”

Buyanga said the judge erred in finding that magistrate Taruvinga had no jurisdiction to cancel a warrant she issued.

The flamboyant businessman remains locked in South Africa, where all his efforts to secure bail have flopped.

Last week a police officer was arrested by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation Unit as he tried to book out Buyanga from prison. _*NewZimbabwe*_

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