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Magistrate in the dock


A Kezi magistrate was on Friday arraigned before the courts in Bulawayo for allegedly causing the disappearance of records of cases he had presided over, which were supposed to be brought for scrutiny and review at the High Court.

By the Senior Court Reporter

Stephen Mavuna (30) of Kezi, was not formally charged with criminal abuse of office when he briefly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa.

He was remanded to November 30 on his own cognisance and was ordered not to interfere with witnesses in the matter.

Charges against him are that between 2009 and 2012 at Plumtree Magistrates Courts where he was stationed before his recent transfer to Kezi, Mavuna presided over criminal cases where he gave various sentences.

The sentences required that the records of proceedings be sent to the Regional Court for scrutiny and then to the High Court in Bulawayo for review and appeal before a judge within seven days of the sentences.

However, it is alleged Mavuna did not send the records to Bulawayo, but instead kept them in his office and later reportedly caused their disappearance.

The records have not been recovered and Mavuna is being accused of doing disfavour to the appellants by denying them justice.

To cover up for the offence, Mavuna allegedly made false entries in scrutiny and review registers.

This was reportedly discovered and reported to the police leading to Mavuna’s arrest and the recovery of Criminal Record Book covers in his office.

The record of proceedings was not recovered.

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