Court rules Guvamombe cannot be tried by his juniors

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE trial of the suspended Chief Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe is set to be heard before the High Court following his successful application challenging prosecution by his juniors.

Guvamombe is facing criminal abuse of office charges relating to awarding internship to former ministers Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere.

He also faces another, of defeating course of justice after he caused a Harare Regional magistrate, Elijah Makomo to recuse himself in a case he allegedly had interests in.

High Court Judge Amie Tsanga recently ordered magistrate Collet Ncube to recuse himself from handling his boss’s trial.

“It is therefore best to err in this instance in favour of maintaining public confidence in the justice delivery system given the significance of avoiding the appearance of impropriety in the first place,” said Tsanga.

“The order is granted as follows; the decision of the first respondent (Collet Ncube) on April 10, 2019 not to recuse himself, be and is hereby set aside. The first respondent be and is hereby ordered to recuse himself.

“The decision that the applicant (Mishrod Guvamombe) be indicted for trial in the magistrates’ court by the first respondent is hereby set aside and the applicant is to be indicted for trial in the High Court of Zimbabwe,” ruled Tsanga.

Guvamombe had argued that it is belittling to be prosecuted by his juniors.

He said no magistrate in the region, retired or serving was qualified to hear his case.

According to the State, Guvamombe strayed from his duties by offering internship to Mandiwanzira and Kasukuwere who are both studying law at the University of Zimbabwe but are being tried for different offences within the same courts.

Prosecutors allege the two ministers had privileged access to documents which could impact on their pending cases as a result.

In a different case, he is accused of having forced Makomo to recuse himself in a criminal case in which one Nathan Mnaba was the accused and Nighert Savania the complainant.

It is alleged that Mnaba is Guvamombe business partner’s son.

The case was heard resulting in Mnaba being acquitted.