By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe has applied for acquittal after the state closed its case in a case in which he is facing criminal abuse of office and defeating the course of justice charges.
Guvamombe landed in the dock after he allegedly offered internship to former cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira who were law students at the University of Zimbabwe.
The two were facing charges related to corruption.
Kasukuwere has since fled the country accusing the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa of persecuting him.
Guvamombe is also accused of having interfered with a case involving his friend’s son through forcing then Harare magistrate, Elijah Makomo to recuse himself from hearing the matter.
However, it is Guvamombe’s submission in his application for discharge that no witness nailed him during the trial.
He said the evidence presented before the court by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) secretary, Walter Chikwanha and Elisha Singano who was the provincial head at Harare Magistrates’ Courts exonerated him instead.
“With all due respect, his (Chikwanha) evidence was of no value at all to the State’s case. One can assume that he had been called to support the allegation,” Guvamombe said.
He added that no witness corroborated Makomo’s evidence and as such, it should not be considered.
“His evidence is not corroborated by anyone either in writing or verbatim. It is only his word against that of the applicant who says that he did not pressurise him and the attitude of the applicant is confirmed by the fact that he was not dealing with the matter personally instead he allowed the whole hierarchy to be involved,” Guvamombe said.
“In the circumstances, there is no basis on which this court can accept the evidence of Makomo which in our view appears to be vindictive and sadistic in nature.”
Allegations against Guvamombe are that he offered Kasukuwere and Mandiwanzira internship at Harare Magistrates’ Courts knowing it was prejudicial to their pending cases as they could easily interfere with their records.
Both Kasukuwere and Mandiwanzira hand pending cases before the same courts.
Mandiwanzira was later acquitted while Kasukuwere fled the country before his case had been finalised.
In the other count, Guvamombe is accused of having substituted Makomo with a magistrate from Bulawayo resulting in the acquittal of his business partner’s son Nathan Mnaba in a criminal matter.
The state is yet to respond to Guvamombe’s application.