A HARARE lawyer Archie Mugiya was on Tuesday blasted in court by his client for not being a diligent counsel after failing to cross-examine State witnesses. Mugiya also failed to attend court to lead defence in a case of having sex with a minor before magistrate Tendai Mahwe.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Tatenda Madzudzo (29) under a barrage of questions on why he failed to rebut evidence from State witnesses in the matter where he is alleged to have had sex with a then 13-year-old girl blamed it on his lawyer for failing to ask the questions.
“I briefed my lawyer about all those questions, but I was surprised he did not ask the witnesses. My lawyer didn’t care about my case, that’s why he did not bother attending the court today,” Madzudzo said.
Mugiya received another tongue-lashing from Mahwe when he tried to reopen the defence case after it had been closed without even apologising to the court about his absence in the morning session.
“When a lawyer is seized with a matter he should attend court and failure to do so he should apologise. The defence counsel has not done that and clearly be that as it may the court will rule on the matter (application for reopening defence case),” Mahwe said.
“Existence of the witness you want to call has been known since the trial began and you have failed to call him all this time and the court views the application to reopen defence as a delaying tactic.”
The court, Mahwe said, did not hear any rebuttal of the girl’s age or the medical affidavit produced showing that there was indeed penetration.
The court also did not hear a rebuttal that the accused gave the girl money for sadza or the $5 for the school trip and above all the girl’s evidence was credible and she even said the sexual act was consensual.
In the face of the overwhelming evidence the court found Madzudzo guilty as charged.
Idah Maromo and Sebastian Mutizirwa prosecuted the case. Madzudzo was then remanded in custody pending sentence.