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PM staffer application dismissed

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PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research director Thabani Mpofu’s court application for more time to co-ordinate the witnesses in the matter in which he allegedly failed to renew a firearm certificate was yesterday dismissed by a Harare magistrate who ruled that the accused had enough time to do the co-ordination.

REPORT BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

Magistrate Anita Tshuma ruled that Mpofu should have prepared his defence after he appeared in court on May 8.

The magistrate also dismissed another application for stay of proceedings pending the outcome of an urgent application Mpofu made at the High Court on May 16 challenging the lower court’s decision to have him put on his defence.

Tshuma said the High Court application had little prospects of success and court proceedings were supposed to be postponed sparingly.

Through his lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Chris Mhike, Mpofu had also argued that his request was in the interests of justice as it would allow him to co-ordinate his witnesses.

He also asked the court for time to locate the letters he wrote to the police. He had requested the matter to be postponed to May 27.

Area public prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi, however, challenged the application on the basis that the court had already ruled that Mpofu be put on his defence, thus further delay of the proceedings was unwarranted.

He also argued that co-ordination of the defence witnesses should have been done a long time ago.

Allegations against Mpofu arose when detectives received information that Mpofu and his colleagues were in possession of dockets they were privately compiling to discredit the judicial system.

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