BREAKING: Beatrice Mtetwa banned from representing Hopewell Chin’ono
In a surprising twist of events, Hopewell Chin’ono’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa faces disqualification and prosecution.
This comes after Harare Magistrate Mr. Ngoni Nduna ordered the disqualification of Mtetwa who is Chin’ono’s lead lawyer.
Nduna also called for her prosecution on contempt of court for interfering with the court processes. He further said he would take his decision to the Law Society for further management.
This was after the State made an application to stop Mtetwa from representing Chin’ono after she posted matters which were before the court on her Facebook page.
As a result, Mtetwa has been recused from representing Chin’ono who was arrested in July this year and charged with inciting public violence.
On Thursday last week, Prosecutor Whisper Mabhaudhi filed an application with Harare Magistrate Ngoni Nduna seeking to bar Mtetwa from representing jailed journalist Hopewell Chin’ono accusing the top lawyer of professional misconduct.
The State alleges Mtetwa has been posting Hopewell Chin’ono court case proceedings on; “Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law” Facebook page.
Mabhaudhi told the court Mtetwa acted unprofessionally by posting on the Facebook Page her client court and detention updates.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights executive director, Roselyn Hanzi told journalists at the Harare Magistrate’s Court that Chin’ono’s bail hearing had been set aside as the State filed an application against Mtetwa.
However, Mtetwa said she does not own the Facebook Page established in her name. Mtetwa told journalists outside Harare Magistrate Court that:
I am not on Facebook. It does not belong to me. It belongs to Laurie Conway who made that documentary.
Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law is a film documentary by Conway which highlights the importance of the rule of law mainly focusing on Beatrice Mtetwa’s legal work in Zimbabwe.
Chin’ono who is a co-producer of the documentary was also asked to take the witness stand to explain the origins of the Facebook page.
He told the court the application by the State to remove Mtetwa as lead legal counsel based on the Facebook page, was targeted at denying him the right to access lawyers of his choice.