HARARE regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya yesterday granted the application by the State to have the next witness in Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner Emmanuel Chimwanda’s corruption trial testify in camera.
Chimwanda is facing five counts of breaching the Official Secrets Act and criminal abuse of office after he allegedly supplied former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office with classified information.
“There are certain witnesses who need to be protected by the courts. It’s not only accused persons who must be protected,” he ruled.
The witness will testify on October 1.
Prosecutor Michael Reza had made the application on Monday in terms of Section 319b of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that protects vulnerable witnesses.
“If the witness gives evidence in public, he will suffer substantial emotional stress and there is real possibility that the witness will be intimidated. I had hoped that my learned colleague will understand that there is need for the witness to give evidence in camera,” Reza said.
Chimwanda’s lawyer, Jonathan Samukange, had, however, opposed the application, arguing that the matter was in the public interest and his client would want to be tried with the witness giving evidence in an open court.