Farcical twist to Buyanga saga as judges, magistrate trip over one another in court rulings

HARARE – In yet another twist to Frank Buyanga’s farcical court battles, High Court judge Pisirayi Kwenda Wednesday set aside a ruling by a Harare magistrate who had cancelled an arrest warrant issued against the property tycoon currently detained in a South African jail.

The ruling was handed down despite Buyanga having filed a Supreme Court appeal earlier seeking recusal of the judge on alleged bias.

This also came as the Supreme Court had accepted Buyanga’s application for Kwenda’s recusal with the judge having been formally informed of the development.

Buyanga is involved in a dragging legal fight with his ex-girlfriend, Chantelle Muteswa over custody of the couple’s minor son.

He was arrested early last month after an arrest warrant was issued against him on allegations of kidnapping the minor, coupled with related charges.

Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga later ruled the warrant was wrongly issued.

Buyanga however remained locked up after the State appealed the magistrate’s ruling.

The matter was to be heard by Kwenda but before it could be argued, the judge said he had noted some irregularities in the magistrate’s ruling after reading about the cancellation in the press.

Kwenda then ignored the matter which was before him only to hand down a ruling reinstating the arrest warrant against Buyanga.

Buyanga’s lawyers sought his recusal from hearing the main matter but the judge refused, prompting the defence to approach the Supreme Court to appeal.

The urgent application was virtually heard Wednesday after which the Supreme Court granted an order for Kwenda’s recusal.

However, despite being informed of the ongoing proceedings in the superior court, Justice Kwenda went on to deliver his judgement, ruling that the magistrates’ court’s decision should be dismissed.

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