HARARE High Court judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa, yesterday castigated the Budiriro “witches” lawyer, Tawanda Takaindisa, for failing to submit a meaningful and proper bail application in his attempt to seek his clients’ liberty.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The women’s bid for bail pending trial went up in smoke after Justice Musakwa struck the matter off the roll on the basis that Takaindisa had failed to substantiate his claim that the magistrate who remanded his clients, Maria Moyo and Chipo Chakaja in custody, had misdirected himself.
Justice Musakwa declined to entertain the application and ordered prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba not to respond to the filed bail application which he said had not been properly presented before the court.
Referring to Takaindisa, the judge said: “You do not state in your application, how and why you allege the magistrate misdirected himself in remanding the accused persons in custody . . . I am striking the matter off the roll and I will not hear you on merits.
“The reason why this matter is being struck off is because it is not a proper application.”
Takaindisa conceded that he had not presented his case well.
The striking-off of the matter by the judge followed an application by Nyazamba who appealed to the court to dismiss the application on the basis that the two women were not denied bail by the magistrate, but simply remanded in custody to establish their mental status.
In his written response to the bail application, Nyazamba had argued that the application was not properly before the court according to Rule 5 of the High Court of Zimbabwe (Bails).
He had further said in respect of the current application, all the requirements of the High Court bail rules had not been met by Takaindisa and urged the court to dismiss the application.
Meanwhile, Moyo and Chakaja appeared at the Mbare Magistrates’ Court yesterday and were remanded in custody to October 7, a date to which their alleged co-accused, the “prophet” Alfred Mupfumbati, was remanded.
The duo is facing charges of contravening Section 98 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for engaging in practices commonly associated with witchcraft
Mupfumbati has been charged with “engaging in a practice associated with witchcraft” due to his alleged association with the two “witches” and involvement in the events that led to the women being found at his house naked and in possession of items associated with witchcraft.