Suspended chief magistrate refuses prosecution by his juniors

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By Mary Taruvinga

SUSPENDED chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe who is facing two criminal offences has declined to be prosecuted at the lower court saying he cannot be tried by his subordinates.

He said this when he appeared before Harare magistrate Morgan Nemadire on Thursday before he was advised to present his request in writing.

“The State is simply trying to embarrass the accused and he applies that his cases be referred to the High Court for trial purposes,” said his lawyer Jonathan Samkange.

Samkange also warned the prosecutor that he will one day have his day in court for “persecuting” his client when a new government comes into office.

“New regime will come, and in the new dispensation you will also be persecuted in a similar way,” said the defence lawyer.

Guvamombe is accused of approving the internship of former cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira at the magistrates’ court in the full knowledge they were facing criminal charges.

Mandiwanzira and Kasukuwere, both law students at the University of Zimbabwe, are being tried for corruption allegedly committed during their time in government.

The former magistrates’ boss is on $3 000 bail, coupled with stringent reporting conditions.

He once made a similar complaint on his earlier appearance before acting chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi, saying it was embarrassing to be detained in court cells by his subordinates.

Through his lawyer, Guvamombe also said the “criminal abuse charge is nonsensical”.

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 and will be back in court on March 18.