D-Day set for High Court prosecutor facing six abuse of office charges

Spread This News

By Staff Reporter

NATIONAL Prosecuting Authority (NPA) official, Henry Mugove Muringani (40), recently arrested on six counts of criminal abuse of office, will know his fate next month after judgement was deferred in the graft case.

Muringani was arraigned before Harare Regional Magistrate, Marehwanazvo Gofa, charged with criminal abuse of office, or alternatively bribe.

Judgment in the matter was postponed to March 10.

Circumstances are that on December 20, 2021, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Homicide detectives arrested Tatenda Tawanda Mutengo, who was wanted for armed robbery and had been on the run since October 2021.

Mutengo was also found in possession of a firearm without a licence and was subsequently charged.

Court heard the accused person was taken to court, where he was remanded in custody and advised to apply for bail at High Court.

On January 17, 2022, Mutengo applied for, but was denied bail at High Court.

While in custody at Harare Remand Prison, Mutengo got wind of an NPA official, who could facilitate his bail.

In January 2022, Eliah Tatenda Murenzvi, Mutengo’s uncle, met Muringani as per agreement and upon discussion, the latter said he could apply for Mutengo’s bail.

He demanded US$500 as payment for his service and was paid in instalments of $20, $380 and $100.

On February 6, 2022, Muringani called Murenzvi whom he gave a set of papers to pass on to Mutengo for his bail application.

However, the papers were defective as they bore a wrong charge of attempted murder charge instead of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition offence.

On February 8,2022 at High Court, Mutengo applied for bail as a self actor/ indigent accused using the papers prepared by Muringani and he was granted ZWL$55 000 bail.

Upon being granted bail, Mutengo was not released by Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS), as one of his CRB 12196/21 relating to an offence of armed robbery was not dealt with by the court.

When Mutengo failed to be released, on February 17, 2022, Muringani further prepared some papers for a bail application for armed robbery, but Muringani substituted the offence with one of rape.

He was paid US$2 000 by Mutenzvi and on February 23, 2022, Mutengo appeared in High Court applying for bail using the papers and he was granted bail in the sum of ZWL$10 000.

Detectives got information of the shenanigans and arrested Muringani.

The police recovered two cellphones and a laptop believed to have been used to commit the offence.

Further investigations revealed Muringani had used the same modus operandi to facilitate bail for other inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

These included cases involving Vincent Kondo, Bill Tirihama, Edwin Muchongwe and Prosper Chidaushe, all separately arrested for robberies.

The four inmates applied for bail at the High Court through their legal practitioners, but bail was denied and their applications dismissed.

While in prison, the quartet gathered information that Muringani could assist them to successfully apply for bail pending trial.

The four contacted their respective relatives, gave them Muringani’s cellphone number that was circulating among inmates.

Kondo’s mother, Josephine gave Muringani $300 outside the High Court premises and he assured her that Kondo would be released.

Tirihama, Muchangwa and Chidaushe’s relatives also got in touch with Muringani for help, and Fortune Mutambe paid $200 for Tirihama while Brenda Mateko paid $200 for the release of Muchangwa.

The court heard Muringani acted unlawfully by showing favour to the inmates by preparing bail applications on their behalf when his duty was to appear for the State in the bail proceedings.

Muringani also accepted gifts from the inmates relatives without his principal’s knowledge.

He is being represented by Hamunakwadi Nyandoro.