BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The witness in the case in which former President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, is accused of unlawfully detaining former ZimAirways legal head, yesterday developed cold feet and wrote to the State withdrawing from testifying, saying she was compromised.
Phillipa Philips, who is also a lawyer, was expected to testify in the case, but asked the court to withdraw, saying both Chikore and the complainant, Bertha Zakeyo were her clients.
But the State, represented by Mirirai Shumba, told the court that they will try to convince her to testify.
Magistrate Victoria Mashamba postponed the matter to March 8 and endorsed on her record that if Phillips failed to appear in court, that would be the end of the State case.
Last week, the court went for inspection in loco at the ZimAirways offices and Simon Musakasa, former ZimAirways human resources manager, who was testifying, gave conflicting testimony.
However, the inspection proved that there were issues which Musakasa did not tell the court.
Musakasa told the court that his office and the main gate of the premise were five metres apart, but the court found out that the distance was more than 40 metres and one could hardly hear people talking at the gate.
Musakasa had earlier told the court that he heard Zakeyo and Chikore’s co-accused Simbarashe Mutimbe arguing at the gate while in his office.
Their offices were more than 10 metres apart and could hardly hear people talking in other rooms if the doors were closed.
The witness had told the court that their offices were separated by glasses, but the court found out that they were separated by brick walls.
Chikore’s lawyer, Jonathan Samukange asked the court for an inspection in loco after he suspected that the witness was lying under oath, saying they conspired to tarnish Chikore’s image after they were fired from their work.
Chikore allegedly detained Zakeyo for two hours at the airline’s offices in June last year.