Guvamombe application trashed, court rules his request too ambitious

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By Mary Taruvinga

SUSPENDED chief magistrate, Mishrod Guvamombe will be tried by his juniors after his application challenging trial before his subordinates was thrown out.

Guvamombe is facing a charge of defeating the course of justice and another one of criminal abuse of office.

He had challenged prosecution at the magistrates court arguing it was unethical to be tried by his juniors.

Guvamombe also said no senior, retired or any magistrate from the region was qualified to hear his case before demanding that his case be referred to the High Court.

However, Hwange magistrate Collet Ncube, who was brought to the capital to preside over the case ruled that Guvamombe’s requests lacked merit.

“In striking a balance it became apparent that it would be wrong to yield to such an application. The question is are there well-founded grounds for seeking recusal.

“That no magistrate in Zimbabwe or in the region, retired or serving cannot handle this case is far too fetched,” said Ncube.

“That witnesses involved are regional magistrates has no effect at all. I will be impartial in assessing their evidence without any fear. There was no cogent reason given, it was just an imagination and I agree with the State that no evidence was advanced that my appointment to the position of being a regional magistrate was not on merit.”

The case was moved to April 17 for trial commencement.

Guvamombe is accused of interfering with a case involving his business partner’s son.

The State alleges he caused Harare Regional magistrate Elijah Makomo to recuse himself in the case his friend’s son Nathan Mnaba was embroiled in a fight with an Indian investor.

The suspended magistrates’ boss also stands accused of offering internship to former Cabinet ministers Savior Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira at Harare Civil court knowing they have pending criminal cases.

He had challenged prosecution by the lower court arguing he was still chief magistrate in Zimbabwe.

Guvamombe further argued that all magistrates serve under him as such he cannot be tried by his juniors adding it was akin to a Chief being tried by a headman.

But prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga opposed Guvamombe’s application saying the latter’s arguments lacked merit.