Chief Magistrate objects to trial by subordinates

HARARE - Suspended chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe yesterday gave notice that he would be applying to have his criminal abuse office case heard in the High Court, rejecting attempts to have him tried by his juniors at the Rotten Row court.

Guvamombe’s lawyer Jonathan Samukange advised Harare regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire of his client’s request and said a full application would be made.“The accused person would want to be tried at the High Court since all the magistrates here are his juniors,” Samukange said.Zivanai Macharaga of the Anti-Corruption Unit in the President’s Office said he would consider the issue once it is formally brought to his attention.

The matter was remanded to March 18.
According to the State, sometime in June 2017, magistrate Elijah Makomo was assigned a criminal case in which one Nathan Mnaba was the accused and Nighert Savania the complainant.
During the trial, numerous applications were allegedly made by the defence which was dismissed due to lack of merit.

This allegedly prompted the defence to approach Makomo, who was presiding over the matter on June 26, 2017 demanding that he recuses himself from the case. Makomo is said to have turned down the request and advised them to file their application with the High Court or make a formal application with him.

Makomo was later advised to report to Guvamombe’s office with Nathan’s court record and was told that he was mishandling the matter and as such he should recuse himself even though there was no formal application from the defence for his recusal.
The court heard that Guvamombe went on to handle the complainant despite the fact that he had a previous business relationship with Nathan’s father.

Guvamombe is also accused of offering internship to former ministers Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere who are both studying law at the University of Zimbabwe.

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