DEFENCE lawyers representing beleaguered businessman James Makamba have decided to put in mothballs an application to challenge the constitutionality of a presidential decree which allows the
state to hold a suspect for up to a month without bail.
This week legal sources said George Chikumbirike of Chikumbirike & Associates, who replaced a defence team from Scanlen & Holderness, was not pursuing the constitutional challenge.
The challenge was filed as an urgent matter by Sternford Moyo, a senior partner at Scanlen & Holderness.
“At the moment the most important aspect for Mr Chikumbirike is to secure Makamba’s release on bail,” a lawyer close to the case said.
“The challenge to the statutory instrument is considered to be confrontational and academic as it will not get the intended results immediately.”
Makamba was arrested on February 9 on allegations of illegally dealing in hard currency. Attempts to secure his release have failed at seven court sittings. The legal team from Scanlen & Holderness last month filed an urgent application in the Supreme Court challenging the legality of the statutory instrument.
The team was subsequently replaced by Chikumbirike who decided to take a different approach, saying Makamba’s arrest had been irregular. That gambit managed to secure the release of the businessman last Wednesday – albeit temporarily as Makamba was arrested inside the Remand Prison complex after police obtained a fresh warrant of arrest from a regional magistrate.
Meanwhile Makamba’s bail hearing in the High Court was yesterday postponed to Monday.