President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s lawyer, advocate Tino Chinyoka has bemoaned the country’s criminal justice procedures saying it is taking longer than necessary to conclude certain cases, especially after an appeal.

His comments came after it took 8 years to hear the appeal by MDC Alliance’s Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere who were jailed on allegations that they had killed a police officer.

The two were freed yesterday by the Supreme Court, after having had spent 8 years behind bars, despite their appeal.

Meanwhile, the matter became a talk of town with many questioning why it had to take 8 years before their appeal was heard. Others viewed it as political persecution.

However, Chinyoka says: “The conversation we are now having around this is wrong. Clearly, no innocent person should spend even a minute in jail, let alone 8 years.

“But instead of this being a good time to bash “Zanu-PF”, it should be time to talk about bail reforms, appeal rules, and size of Supreme Court.”

He also says it is time to address the structure of the country’s criminal court system.

“Like, what role was played by the assessors in this trial? Are they representative of society or do we need juries in murder cases? The death penalty? We could have executed innocent people!” He adds.

Meanwhile, Chinyoka denies assertions that the country’s justice system is captured by the status quo, saying when a court reverses an appeal is evidence enough to show that the system works.

“Yes! It’s precisely why we have appeal courts, because sometimes trial courts get it wrong.

“When an appeal court reverses a ruling, it’s evidence that the system works.

“The problem here is the 8 years delay, that’s what we must fix. ZanuPF haipindi apa. But vanhu,” he says.