HomeLocal NewsLawyer fumes over Mangoma trial delay

Lawyer fumes over Mangoma trial delay

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HARARE Magistrates’ Courts resembled a battlefield yesterday when former Energy minister Elton Mangoma’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa squared up with a prosecutor over her client’s bail conditions.

by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Tempers flared after Mtetwa sought to have Mangoma’s routine reporting conditions relaxed to enable him to attend another court case in Bulawayo on Friday.

Mangoma is required to report once every Friday at Harare Central Police Station pending finalisation of his case where he is charged with fraudulently awarding a Zesa prepayment voucher contract to OK Zimbabwe without going to tender.

However, prosecutor Sharon Mashavira in opposing the application argued that Mangoma had not produced a subpoena to show that he would be attending court in Bulawayo.

This infuriated Mtetwa who exchanged harsh words with Mashavira.

Mashavira then asked the court to stand down the matter briefly without giving reasons.
But magistrate Tendai Mahwe dismissed her request before making a ruling in Mangoma’s favour.
“We cannot afford to waste time on this matter as there is no prejudice to the State and, therefore, the application is granted and the accused will not have to report to police this Friday,” Mahwe ruled.
Earlier, Mtetwa had implored the court to take action against the prosecutor for failing to come up with a trial date.
“The tradition is if an officer of the court makes an undertaking and for a good reason fails to meet it, he/she has an obligation to explain why it was not done,” Mtetwa said.
She said Mangoma would apply for removal from remand at the next appearance because the State originally asked for a month to complete investigations and the time had since lapsed.
“The State only wanted a month to finalise investigations and that period has lapsed and there has been no indication why the one month requested by the State has been insufficient,” she said.
Mashavira told the court the State was still to get some documentary evidence from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company and the State Procurement Board needed for the hearing.
The matter was remanded to August 3, 2015 with the consent of the defence.

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