Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi yesterday told a Harare magistrate that he wanted to investigate complaints brought by a client of Zanu PF politburo member Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana when he tried to stop proceedings of an ongoing trial.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Hodzi reportedly asked the court to stop for three weeks the trial of Leon Gomani, who is facing more than 20 counts of fraud after he allegedly used high-profile people’s names to swindle Lilian Gonga of more than US$100 000.
The matter is already on defence before magistrate Morgan Nemadire after he dismissed Gomani’s application for discharge.
But in a turn of events, Hodzi denied that he wanted the trial proceedings to stop for three weeks, saying it was a miscommunication as he only wanted a few hours to investigate complaints raised by Gonga.
In a letter gleaned by NewsDay, Mangwana asked Hodzi to deal with the complaints raised by his client, who is the complainant in the matter.
“The prosecutor is refusing to take instructions from our lawyer (watch and brief) such that she never objects to anything the accused says. The accused, Gomani, lied to Court 6 magistrate that he does not have a passport on initial bail hearing and as a result was not asked to surrender his passport. We were informed that the magistrate had not noted that fact in her notes,” read the letter.
However, according to the watch and brief, the complainant is being represented by Norman Ndomene from Ndomene and Maposa Law Chambers, which is a different law firm.
On appearing before magistrate Nemadire, Hodzi said he respected the Constitution.
“I appear in this court for a number of reasons, more so because I respect the Constitution of Zimbabwe. After yesterday’s submissions, everything is very much in order. There is nothing amiss as far as this case is concerned.
I gave an order as PG. If you understand, my duty is to protect the integrity of the prosecution. I act where I believe the integrity of the prosecution might be at risk,” Hodzi said.
But Nemadire interjected, saying the State had asked for three weeks and not hours, to which Hodzi replied that it was a miscommunication.
Nemadire said he did not expect instructions from the PG by phone to stop trial proceedings without good reason.
But Hodzi hastily replied that it was not an instruction and asked the court to go to the chambers.
After coming out of the chambers, Hodzi told the court that it was unfortunate that some publications insinuated that there were irregularities.
“I wish to state that all I wanted was to protect the integrity of the prosecution and judiciary,” he said.
Nemadire, however, stood his ground, saying there was no need to stop the trial without due process, saying he only wanted clarification from the PG and thanked him for co-operating.
The magistrate postponed the matter to today for trial continuation.
The matter has seen high-profile people testifying, including Zanu PF politburo member Patrick Chinamasa and Judicial Service Commission secretary Walter Chikwana. Former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Chief Justice Luke Malaba were also mentioned in the mater.