BY CHARLES LAITON
Suspended chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe has successfully challenged the decision by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to have him tried by his subordinates over criminal abuse of office allegations.
The ruling was handed down by High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga, who ordered that magistrate Collet Ncube recuses himself from deliberating over Guvamombe’s trial.
“It is, therefore, best to err in this instance in favour of maintaining public confidence in the justice delivery system given the significance of avoiding
the appearance of impropriety in the first place,” Justice Tsanga said in her judgment.
“The order is granted as follows: The decision of the first respondent (Collet Ncube) on April 10, 2019 not to recuse himself, be and is hereby set aside. The
first respondent be and is, hereby, ordered to recuse himself.
“The decision that the applicant (Mishrod Guvamombe) be indicted for trial in the magistrate’s court by the first respondent is, hereby, set aside and the
applicant is to be indicted for trial in the High Court of Zimbabwe.”
It is the State’s case that sometime in June 2017, regional magistrate Elijah Makomo was assigned a criminal case in which one Nathan Mnaba was the accused and
Nighert Savania the complainant.
During the trial, it is alleged, numerous applications were made by the defence which were dismissed due to lack of merit. This, however, prompted the defence
to approach Makomo, who was presiding over the matter on June 26, 2017 demanding that he recuses himself from the case.
But Makomo allegedly turned down the request and advised the parties to file their application with the High Court or make a formal application.
Makomo was later advised to report to Guvamombe’s office with Nathan’s court record and was told that he was mishandling the matter and as such should recuse
It is the State’s case that Guvamombe went on to handle the complainant’s case despite the fact that he had had a previous business relationship with Mnaba’s
In a different matter, Guvamombe is also accused of offering internship to former ministers Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere, who are both studying law
at the University of Zimbabwe, but are being tried for different offences at the same courts.