HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 13 February 2018 & 13 June 2018
T Mpofu, for the applicant
S Fero, for the State
TSANGA J: Written reasons have been requested for the order I granted on 13 February 2018 in chambers. A chamber application for dismissal of charges in terms of s 160 (2) was placed before me on 7 February 2018 on the grounds that an excess of six months had lapsed from the date of applicant’s committal to trial and he had not yet been tried. I directed both parties to appear before me in chambers on 12 February 2018, given the wording of the notice that had been served on the respondent.
The relevant provision in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] states as follows:
160 Bringing of accused persons to trial before High Court
(2) If a person referred to in subsection (1) is not brought to trial after the expiry of six months from the date of his committal for trial, his case shall be dismissed:
Provided that any period during which such person is, through circumstances beyond the control of the Prosecutor-General, not available to stand trial shall not be included as part of the period of six months referred to in this subsection.
It was not in dispute that the accused had been indicted to trial in the High Court on 14 November 2016. His trial had been scheduled to take off on 13 February 2017. He had not pleaded at the time because his lawyers wanted to make a constitutional application before