‘Light sentence’ lands magistrate, prosecutor in soup

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By Staff Reporter

A CHIREDZI woman has filed a complaint against a local magistrate and prosecutor for allegedly conniving to hand what she found to be a lenient sentence to a soldier who bit off her nose.

Violet Chauke filed the complaint against Rodgers Mawarire and prosecutor Doubt Phiri through the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) accusing the two court officials of defeating the course of justice.

Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi confirmed receiving the complaint and promised to investigate the matter before action could be taken.

“I can confirm receiving that complaint. We are going to investigate the matter and appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

Godfrey Chiwara (32), a member of the Zimbabwe National Army attached to the demining regiment in Dumisa in Chikombedzi, bit off Chauke’s nose during a heated domestic dispute, according to court papers.

Mawarire, who was transferred to Tsholotsho from Chiredzi following a number of almost similar complaints, sentenced Chiwara to 24 months in prison and suspended six months on condition he did not commit a similar offence in three years.

The remaining 18 months was suspended on condition that he performed 630 hours of community service at Nyabira police station.

The matter stemmed from an attack on Chauke after Chiwara borrowed ZWL$100 from her and failed to pay back.

When she approached him for her money, he became elusive and uncooperative.

It is alleged when Chauke finally caught up with him inside Chikombedzi Police station on December 23, 2018, Chiwara started insulting her and a scuffle ensued leading him to biting a chunk off her nose.

Chauke was admitted at Chikombedzi Mission Hospital where she was attended by Dr Runyararo Mawana who concluded that she had severe injuries on her nose with loss of nasal cartilage.

After consultation with a specialist doctor at Parirenyatwa Hospital for a plastic surgery, she was told the operation needed US$1 500.

This forced her to opt to be operated outside the country.

She later sought medical assistance in South Africa where she had a skin graft on the nose.

The matter has been dragging for almost two years until she approached police spokesperson Paul Nyathi complaining her rights were being grossly violated.

She also had to approach the late Zimbabwe National Army’s Colonel Overson Mugwisi and Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore in Harare leading to Chiwara’s court appearance July 29, 2020.

When he was asked why he was not attending court, Chiwara threw blame towards prosecutor Phiri whom he said had told him (Chiwara) not to come to court.

Chiwara was remanded out of custody to September 30, 2020, a day which Mawarire passed a ‘dubious” ruling.