Michael Reza is a Zimbabwean prosecutor.

Controversies

Tendai Biti

On 15 November 2018, Reza was forced to recuse himself from the trial of Tendai Biti. Reza was forced to recuse himself as Biti's prosecutor over a politically-charged filing he made at the High Court while opposition Biti’s application for an exception to the charges. Biti contended that he was illegally before the court after he was seized by Zimbabwean state security agents in Zambia, where he had sought asylum, before being brought back to Zimbabwe. [1][2]

In December 2018, Biti’s lawyers applied Michael Reza to be held in contempt of court after he allegedly criticised presiding magistrate Gloria Takundwa in a text message sent to Thabani Mpofu. In the text, Reza labelled the magistrate stupid for allowing journalists to live stream court proceedings. The alleged message, tendered to the court read:

“Cde Mpofu. It’s Reza, how are you. Another strange ruling by the magistrate trying Tendai Biti. They applied for live streaming of the case, with cameras and journalists in court and proceedings beamed all over the world. She has just agreed to that without authority of her boss the Chief Justice. She is either very brave or very stupid or both.,kkkkkk.”

Magistrate Gloria Takundwa referred the matter to the High Court for guidance.[3]

Georgios Katsimberis

In December 2021, Reza was criticised over his prosecution of a matter involving land developer Georgios Katsimberis and Pokugara Properties proprietor Kenneth Sharpe.

Reza together with another prosecutor Tafara Chirambira were accused of supporting Pokugara Properties in the long-running legal dispute in which Katsimberis was accused of constructing a show house without approved plans despite having the plans approved by the City of Harare.[4]

References

  1. Lindie Whiz, Chief prosecutor Michael Reza in hot water after labelling Biti magistrate ‘very stupid’, ZimLive, Published: December 11, 2018, Retrieved: March 2, 2022
  2. Biti’s Reza application granted, H-Metro, Published: Novemebr 16, 2021, Retrieved: March 2, 2022
  3. NEW TWIST TO BITI’s SAGA, H-Metro, Published: December 12, 2018, Retrieved: March 2, 2022
  4. Prosecutor Michael Reza A ‘Hired Gun’ For Pokugara Properties, 263Chat, Published: December 27, 2021, Retrieved: March 2, 2022