Reprieve for AFM president

BULAWAYO - The High Court here has suspended trial of Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe (AFM) president Aspher Madziyire for culpable homicide.

This comes after Madziyire last week took the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and a Gweru magistrate Musaiona Shotgame to court challenging a decision to dismiss his application for discharge in the case.

In his application, Madziyire cited the NPA and Shotgame as respondents.

The popular clergyman is being accused of reckless driving which resulted in him fatally knocking down a cyclist Tymon Mangena in 2014 along the Bulawayo-Gweru road.

Justice Nicholas Mathonsi yesterday ruled in favour of Madziyire.

“The proceedings involving applicant in case no GWP256/17 be and are hereby suspended pending the determination of the application for review in case no HC 995/17. The respondents shall pay the costs of this application but only if they oppose the relief sought herein,” Justice Mathonsi said.

Madziyire is seeking an order nullifying a ruling dismissing his application for discharge at the close of the State case.

He also wants the High Court to declare him not guilty and have him acquitted.

In his founding affidavit, Madziyire who is being represented by lawyers Calderwood, Bryce Hendrie and Partners, said he was not pleased with the ruling of the lower court, arguing it was fraught with gross irregularities.

“I wish to aver that this application is not premised on a simple fact that I do not agree with the determination of the magistrate but rather his decision is vitiated by gross irregularity. I am dissatisfied with the manner in which the proceedings were conducted which suggests that the magistrate was biased against me,” he said.

The AFM president further argued that the refusal of discharge at the close of the State case by the magistrate was meant to bolster a weak State case.

The court heard that on April 1, in 2014 at around 4pm, Madziyire was driving his Toyota Land Cruiser along the Bulawayo-Gweru road.

On approaching the 284km peg, Madziyire who was allegedly travelling at an excessive speed, hit Mangena who was cycling in the same direction.

The cyclist died on the spot after succumbing to multiple fractures and head injuries.

Meanwhile, Mangena’s widow Melody Mudzingwa, through her lawyers Mutendi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, in 2015 filed an $82 000 lawsuit against Madziyire for compensation for loss of support.

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