PROMINENT businessman James Makamba has fired his legal team from Scanlen & Holderness contrary to reports that the lawyers had dumped the beleaguered politician.
A senior partner at Scanlen & Holderness, Sternford Moyo, on Tuesday said Makamba had decided to use another lawyer to represent him.
When Makamba appeared at the magistrates’ court for a remand hearing on Monday, George Chikumbirike of Chikumbirike & Associates represented him. Makamba is facing charges of externalising foreign currency and has been in detention since February 9.
Moyo, whose team included Thakor Kewada and Godfrey Mamvura, said this week Makamba had decided to hire another lawyer – relieving Scanlen & Holderness of its services.
“We did not abandon our client,” said Moyo. “Makamba might have decided to get a lawyer with a different approach to what we were trying to do.”
Chikumbirike this week introduced a new argument that Makamba could not be detained on the basis of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Statutory Instrument which amended the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act because there was no state of emergency in the country.
Under the amendment, government can detain somebody suspected of corruption or other serious commercial crimes for up to a month without bail.
Chikumbirike said presidential powers could only be used in the event of a state of emergency.
Moyo had last week filed two Supreme Court applications challenging the legality of the statutory instrument amending the principal Act and another challenging Justice Elfas Chitakunye’s ruling last week that Makamba could not be released on bail.
He said at least three weeks were required for the case to be brought back to the High Court.
Moyo has since filed an application in the Supreme Court renouncing the urgency of the two cases. He however said the two applications before the Supreme Court still stood.
He said the new lawyer was at liberty to use the arguments which have already been filed in the Supreme Court if he so wishes.
“At the moment we cannot represent Makamba because we do not have the mandate from the client to do so,” said Moyo.
Six bail application attempts have failed to secure Makamba’s release.