Thandeka Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
A VISUALLY impaired prosecutor who was denied full access to the courts since 2006 because of his condition has been finally granted permission to prosecute after the Prosecutor-General Advocate Ray Goba granted him his long-denied rights.
Mr Mehluli Ndlovu joined the Public Service Commission 11 years ago but was confined to set down offices as his superiors said he would not be able “to see” the credibility of witnesses.
He received a letter from the Prosecutor General’s last week granting him permission to prosecute as provided by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Mr Ndlovu’s lawyer Mr Costar Dube of Mcijo Dube and Partners confirmed that his client got the letter. “I Advocate Ray Goba, the Prosecutor-General of Zimbabwe, do hereby nominate and appoint Mehluli Ndlovu to appear before the Magistrates’ Court and Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, for me, and in my name, to prosecute all cases as shall be therein pending,” reads the letter.
“I find that the applicant is unnecessarily being discriminated and thereby order that the Attorney General, Public Service Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutors through any of its subordinates and functionaries officials desist from subjecting Mr Ndlovu to any restrictions in the performance of his duties. They should but render him with all necessary support and assistance to fully and effectively perform his duties without any differentiation with his other colleagues in prosecution.” Mr Ndlovu’s plight started in 2006 when he left private practice to join the then Public Service Commission as a prosecutor at Bulawayo Magistrates Court housed at Tredgold Building when Mr Johannes Tomana was still the Attorney-General.
Until now, he was not allowed to present cases in court with authorities arguing his assistant is not a civil servant and has not taken an oath to keep State secrets. For the past 11 years, Mr Ndlovu has been confined to the set down offices where he received new cases and decides whether there is enough evidence to prosecute.
Frustrated by his former boss, Mr Tomana, Mr Ndlovu approached the Labour Court seeking an order to be allowed to prosecute in court.
Labour Court President Justice Mercy Moya-Matshanga ruled in his favour and ordered Mr Tomana to allow him to prosecute, but the court order was violated.