Guvamombe trial date set, demands High Court prosecution

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By Mary Taruvinga

SUSPENDED chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges will stand trial on April 9 before a Harare Regional Court.

Guvamombe is facing two criminal offences and on Monday told Harare magistrate Lucy Mungwari that it was “ridiculous” to have him tried by a lower court.

The suspended magistrates’ boss gave notice that he intended to challenge trial by his subordinates arguing it is “unethical”.

“I want to formerly place it on record that the state should consider the opinion that Guvamombe is the chief magistrate of Zimbabwe and that it is unthinkable to have him tried by his juniors,” said Guvamombe’s lawyer, Jonathan Samkange.

The state alleges that Guvamombe violated the law when he offered former cabinet ministers, Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira internship at Harare Civil Court last year.

Kasukuwere and Mandiwanzira are law students at the University of Zimbabwe and are facing corruption charges allegedly committed during their time in government.

The state alleges Guvamombe exposed them to a privilege which could influence the outcome of their criminal cases since they could have access to critical documents during their internship.

Guvamombe is on $3 000 bail, coupled with stringent reporting conditions.

He was restricted from traveling beyond a 50km radius of Harare and to report four times a week at the police as part of his bail conditions.

Through his lawyer, Guvamombe also gave a notice of his intention to apply for relaxation of his reporting conditions since he intends to travel abroad for his child’s graduation.

“The accused will not be able to travel with the reporting condition barring him to travel (within a) 50km (of) Harare hanging around his neck so we will seek relaxation,” said Samkange.

The application will be made on March 20.

Guvamombe is also accused of ordering his junior, Harare Regional Magistrate Elijah Makomo, to surrender a case which involved a son to the former’s business partner.

He faces an alternative charge of defeating the course of justice.