Prosper Dembedza – Court Correspondent
Harare regional magistrate Mrs Letwin Rwodzi has dismissed an application by controversial builder Geogios Katsemberis to have his matter reffered to the Constitutional Court saying it was frivolous and vexatious.
Katsimberis is accused of duping Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Limited of close to US$1 million in a joint venture to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.
In her ruling Mrs Rwodzi said if a constitutional matter arises a magistrate dealing with the matter is entitled to refer the matter the Constitutional Court unless the court finds it frivolous or vexetious.
“It is clear that applicant has not come up with a constitutional question to be reffered to the Constitutional Court,” she said.
Mrs Rwodzi said Katsimberis defence Mr Tendai Biti submitted that the two previous prosecutors who were handling the matter were biased and were likely to infringe Katsemberis rights for a free trial.
However she ruled that the two said prosectors have since been removed from handling the matter and the matter is now being dealt with by senior prosecutor Mr Michael Reza therefore that reason has fallen away.
“The applicant has not come up with any constitutional question that requires the matter to be reffered to the Constitutional Court therefore the application is hereby dismissed,” she said.
Biti said he intends to apply against the dismissal of their appication to the Constitutional Court.
The matter was referred to June 18.
On the last hearing the court heard that Katsimberis only decided to make a counter report against council officials and West Properties employees two months after his pending fraud case had already been reported to police in an attempt to create confusion and a smokescreen.
This was said by senior prosecutor Mr Michael Reza while opposing Katsimberis’ application to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court.
Through Mr Biti, Katsimberis said his application was based on two grounds; one of equal protection of the law and the right to fair hearing.
Mr Biti said the previous prosecutor who was handling the matter was biased, therefore his client’s right to a fair trial were being infringed.
The State led by Mr Reza and Tafara Chirambira opposed Biti’s application saying the application was frivolous and vexetious.
The prosecutors said the application was improperly made, hence there was no need for the matter to be referred to the Constitutional Court.
“This application is more like a defence. Only when a constitutional question has been raised can a matter be referred to the apex court and here, there is no such question,” said Mr Chirambira.