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Judge raps AG’s Office over prosecution


HIGH Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa yesterday rapped the Attorney-General’s (AG) office for prosecuting innocent people in a bid to protect and serve the interest of certain individuals.


Justice Musakwa made the remarks while presiding over a fraud case where Abdul Talati is being charged alongside Mohammed Patel for allegedly swindling a Harare woman of cash which was intended to buy properties.

The two men were arrested and charged with fraud sometime in 2008 after a business transaction failed to materialise as planned.

Justice Musakwa said if any individual were harmed in matters of breach of contracts, there were other remedies to be sought as opposed to seeking the protection of the AG’s office that has since fallen victim to abuse.

“Some cases should not be criminalised and prosecuted so as to appease somebody who has a score to settle with someone,” Justice Musakwa said.

“If someone was harmed, they ought to pursue the matter civilly as opposed to asking this court to preside over such cases.”

The court heard yesterday that the cash which was the subject of the matter was returned to the complainant, Effie Zituta, 10 days after she had paid for the purchase of three properties in Harare.

Patel, through his lawyer Jonathan Samkange, also accused Zituta of working in cahoots with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to misappropriate funds that were intended to benefit beneficiaries of the farm mechanisation programme.

“The complainant is the one who is stealing money from the public as the RBZ is a public institution and the monies she received were for farm mechanisation programme. This is the height of corruption when an individual or individuals use public funds to enrich themselves,” Samkange said.

“The second accused person (Patel) hopes that the new Anti-Corruption Commission will investigate the source of these funds.”

As submissions continued, Justice Musakwa ordered the amendment of the charge against the two men which the AG’s representative Sam Pedzisayi indicated he would effect before the next court date, June 29 this year.

The case against Talati represented by lawyer Charles Nyika and Patel has seen three prosecutors from Harare recusing themselves from handling the matter after it emerged the State would not sustain a criminal charge against the two men.

Pedzisayi, who is now seized with the matter, was invited from Gweru Magistrates’ Court and it was clear from his submissions that he was not well versed with the case.

Pedzisayi was asked by Justice Musakwa to make several deletions to the charge sheet, removing all paragraphs that were insinuating the two men colluded to commit the offence.

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