ConCourt dismisses magistrate’s application

FORMER Chinhoyi magistrate Funny Nyakudya, who is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office charges after allegedly showing favour to a woman believed to be his lover in a maintenance matter, is now set to face trial after his application, seeking permanent stay of the proceedings, was yesterday dismissed by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).

BY CHARLES LAITON

The ConCourt led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba said it could not deal with a matter that had not been properly brought before it, adding the magistrate, who dealt with the matter, had already made a determination and as such there was no question for the apex court to determine.

In the magistrate’s court, Nyakudya had applied for exception to the charge but regional magistrate Elijah Makomo threw it away, prompting the embattled magistrate to approach the ConCourt seeking direct access and his application was granted by the late Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

The late Chief Justice then ordered suspension of the criminal trial at the Harare Magistrate’s Court pending determination of the constitutionality of the proceedings, for which the ConCourt ruled must proceed.

Nyakudya is being accused of falling into a relationship with Moreblessing Chabvonga, who had applied for maintenance against Michael Musamirapamwe, before ruling that the latter pays $1 000 per month in an attempt to fix him.

According to the court papers, Nyakudya and Chabvonga are now staying together at No. 3717 Mzari Extension in Chinhoyi.

Musamirapamwe was reportedly once married to Chabvonga and according to the State, the pairs’ marriage, which was blessed with two children aged nine and five years, ended in 2009.

However, in January 2013 Chabvonga applied for maintenance against Musamirapamwe and Nyakudya presided over the matter whereupon he ordered the man to pay $1 000 as maintenance.

In April 2013, Musamirapamwe is said to have lost an appeal at the High Court and filed for downward variation of the maintenance order which matter was set for hearing on July 12 at Murombedzi Magistrates’ Court.

The State alleges when Musamirapamwe arrived at the court for the downward variation hearing, he was informed that the matter could not be heard and instead, he was told he had defaulted and should be prosecuted. Apparently, Nyakudya then tried the matter and found Musamirapamwe guilty after which he slapped him with a six-month jail term and suspended three months on condition of good behaviour.

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