Gweru magistrate Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe is today expected to deliver sentence on Kwekwe-based public prosecutor Vincent Musanga Chikombe accused of criminal abuse of office.
Chikombe was yesterday found guilty of demanding and accepting bribes from a suspect, but had his sentence deferred to today after Chikwekwe told the court he wanted more time to consider the most appropriate sentence.
“After considering all the evidence brought before this court I find you guilty as charged of criminal abuse of office, but I need more time to research on the proper sentence to give you, so come back tomorrow (Wednesday) for your sentence,” said Chikwekwe.
Charges against Chikombe arose in May last year when he was the presiding prosecutor in the theft case involving Seward Chigwedere.
The court heard Chikombe demanded $500 bribe from Chigwedere to secure his release.
Chikombe then facilitated Chigwedere’s release on remand.
On a date unknown to the court, but in June 2011, Chigwedere gave Chikombe $500.
Chikombe later demanded another $200, which he was given before getting into the courtroom on the day of judgment.
But Chigwedere was found guilty of the offence and remanded out of custody for sentence.
Soon after adjournment, Chikombe demanded another $100 bribe to ensure the matter died a natural death.
On June 9 2011, Chigwedere came to court and gave Chikombe $100 bringing the total amount to $800.
Chigwedere reported the matter to the police, leading to Chikombe’s arrest.
Chikombe is not new to controversy as he was once suspended on yet another related offence committed sometime in August 2009.
He was caught red handed receiving a $300 bribe from Maria Moyo whose husband had been nabbed for stocktheft.
He appeared before a disciplinary committee last year and was found guilty of misconduct, corruption and abuse of office.
He has since appealed against the committee’s decision.
In the current case, Chikombe is being represented by Maxwell Sengweni.