By Staff Reporter
HIGH Court judge, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi has expressed his disappointment over unprofessionalism being exhibited in courts after the prosecutor who handled a murder case failed to record witness statements.
While handing down his judgement in the matter Tinotenda Mangenja was convicted of killing a fellow imbiber at a bar in Shamva the judge said the case betrays total disinterest in the prosecution of criminal cases by the National Prosecuting Authority.
Mangenja stabbed Nomater Zveushe to death following an altercation over a pint of beer.
There were nearly 20 witnesses at the scene but the prosecutor only managed to record statements from one witness and two others who were not at the scene.
“Many other local people were also present. They could have been easily identifiable if a little effort had been put into it.
“Out of that multitude, the prosecutor, in her wisdom, chose to rely on only three witnesses, one of whom is a police officer who came to court to say nothing other than telling us his name,” said the judge.
“At times I stop to wonder if some prosecutors appreciate the enormity of their responsibilities in assisting the courts in the determination of the guilt or innocence of people accused of crimes.
“The courts have no business teaching prosecutors how they must deal with their cases.
“That is particularly so when someone is prosecuting in the High Court,” said Mutevedzi.
The judge also urged the new prosecutor general, Loice Matanda-Moyo to deal with this issue head-on.
“It must however be elementary that a prosecutor must not swallow hook, line and sinker that which the police bring to him/her.
“Instead, it is the duty of the prosecutor to guide the police in the gathering of evidence necessary to successfully prosecute the case.
“The hands-off approach exhibited by some prosecutors leaves me in no doubt that they either do not read dockets before coming to court or they simply do not care what happens.
“It is disconcerting. The courts hope that it is an attitude that the new Prosecutor-General would deal with head-on,” said Mutevedzi.
In the case he was dealing with, it was however proved that Mangenjani killed Zvoushe after an argument about a missing pint of beer.
The incident occurred on 10 February 2022, at Mhene village, Chief Bushu in Shamva.
Mangenjani stabbed Zvoushe with a knife in the lower left abdomen.
He denied allegations arguing that he had defended himself from being attacked by Zvoushe after he confronted him over his missing beer.
But the judge noted that a comparison of his warned and cautioned statement with his defence outline further exposes the untruthfulness of his story.
In the statement, he said one Ngonidzashe Zvoufa drew a knife intending to attack him before he snatched the knife from him.
“In his defence outline, he portrays Ngonidzashe as having sought to attack the deceased before he intervened on the side of the deceased.
“It is inexplicable. The two versions are mutually exclusive and irreconcilable and are an indication that the accused’s story is a concocted one…in the premises, it is accordingly directed that the accused be and is hereby found guilty of murder as charged.”