HIGH Court judge Never Katiyo has raised concern over his security after suspected opposition activists made his mobile number public.
The judge was addressing lawyers representing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in a matter the party is demanding the release of the voters roll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as the August 23 plebiscite draws closer.
Katiyo said he was not swayed by the media but noted that he was put at risk by such actions.
He also expressed concern that some court officials also commented on the issue.
His number was posted after he dismissed the urgent hearing of an application by CCC for the release of the voters’ roll.
Katiyo said there was nothing amiss with his judgment as this was not the first application to be dismissed by the courts.
“You are here because procedure allows the party to approach the judge. For the public to be told what I did was wrong or that this was not the procedure was not good…We are professionals, We should not behave like that,” said the judge.
“I’m not saying I’m swayed by the media. So I just wanted to point out that as we deal with the case let’s not be emotionally involved. Let’s not incite violence. My security was threatened. My number was put out there for the whole world to see. I’m not moved but such developments should be avoided,” he said.
“Let’s not be especially involved and incite members of the public. If such sentiments are to come where my number is publicised, it would be a matter of concern.
“Let’s be guided by the court procedures. We should know what to say in public especially since the matter is still before the court.”
The judge then told the parties to agree and draft an order.
If parties do not reach a common ground regarding the release of the voters’ roll the matter will be argued in court Thursday morning.
Obey Shava representing CCC said parties will be discussing the issue.
“We sought audience with Justice Katiyo because we genuinely believe the matter was urgent so we appeared before him.
“We addressed him on our concerns regarding his decision that our matter was not urgent we did not argue the substance of the matter because among other issues…Honourable Katiyo felt that this was a matter capable of resolution if parties were to consider their respective conditions which position we equally agree with as parties, so what then happens is as parties we have been given an opportunity to go and discuss and see if we cannot come up with an order by consent.
“So we have been given the whole of today to pursue a possibility of a settlement if we fail to agree on the matters that are before the court then we will be coming back to court to argue the matter tomorrow at 9 am,” said Shava.
The application was mounted by CCC secretary for elections Ian Makone on behalf of the party.
The party said it was impossible to hold elections while unaware of what is contained in the voters’ roll.
Early this week Katiyo said the matter was not urgent.
The opposition then wrote demanding to know the reasons of his ruling insisting the matter was urgent since elections will be held in a few days.
Source – NewZimbabwe