Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube on 12 January 2021 reserved ruling to tomorrow after lawyers representing detained journalist Hopewell Chin’ono challenged his placement on remand.
The defence lawyers, led by Harrison Nkomo, argued that the section under which he is being charged was invalidated as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
Chin’ono’s lawyers argued that once a law is declared invalid in terms of the old Constitution, it remains invalid even under the current (2013) Constitution.
To illustrate his point, Nkomo cited the case in 2016 of MISA Zimbabwe and others versus the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs during which the Constitutional Court asserted that position.
It is alleged Chin’ono breached Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act by posting a tweet that falsely reported the death of a child after a physical assault by the police.
However, the State is arguing that the law is still valid.