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HCC bosses seeks to stop ‘biased’ witness from testifying

Local News
Harare City Council

HARARE City Council (HCC) bosses and Pokugara Properties Company have filed an application to stop State witness Roy Nyabvure from testifying in the malicious damage to property allegations levelled against them.

Nyabvure recently testified against former Pokugara Properties general manager Michael Van Blerk.

His testimony was discredited, leaving the court with no option but to discharge Van Blerk.

On Van Blerk’s acquittal, Pokugara Properties was represented by Mandla Ndebele, while HCC was represented by town clerk Hosiah Chisango, Isiah Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabeze, and Lasten Taonezvi.

The former Pokugara Properties general manager filed an application to object to Nyabvure testifying in court, saying his testimony will be of no use in the matter.

"The accused persons object to the leading of testamentary evidence from Nyabvure on account of it being irrelevant, immaterial and cannot prove or disprove any fact or issue in the present trial.

“In particular, the objection is made in accordance with section 252 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act as to any fact, matter or thing shall be admissible which is irrelevant or immaterial and cannot conduce to prove or disprove any point or fact at issue in the case which is being tried," the accused persons submitted.

They also submitted that the State papers provided by the prosecution stated that there was a City of Harare approval for the building plan and for the showroom in question.

The showroom was destroyed at the behest of City of Harare.

The accused persons said such evidence cannot be received from Nyabvure because it is irrelevant.

They further submitted that Nyabvure is no longer employed by HCC as was observed by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna in Van Blerk’s case.

Nduna said Nyabvure cannot speak on behalf of HCC since he is no longer working there.

 "According to the witness statement that was provided by the prosecution as part of the State Papers; their intention was to lead Nyabvure in his capacity as the then Region Building Inspector, domiciled at Cleveland House.  As such, witness no longer has such official designation then he has no competence to speak to the issues before the Court.

"Allowing the prosecution to lead evidence from a witness that an adjunct Court has ruled to be wholly inadmissible would be to negate the operation of section 252 of the aforesaid Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. From the Witness statement it is clear that Nyabvure is not intending to speak to any of the material issues before the Court, which include, the ownership of the property damaged," the accused persons submitted.

However, the state represented by Zivanai Macharaga is yet to respond to the application.

The accused persons were accused of destroying a showroom built in a joint venture agreement by George Katsimberis on the pretext that the building plan was fraudulent.

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