Guvamombe acted within his mandate: State

Source: Guvamombe acted within his mandate: State | Newsday (News)

THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) yesterday closed its case in the trial of former chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, who is facing a charge of criminal abuse of office and of defeating the course of justice while at the helm of the magistrates’ court department.

BY CHARLES LAITON

The State wrapped up its case with former regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya, telling the court that Guvamombe acted within his mandate when he involved himself in a matter in which he is alleged to have influenced former regional magistrate Elijah Makomo to recuse himself from handling businessman Nathan Mnaba’s trial.

It is the State’s case that Guvamombe forced Makomo to recuse himself from the matter, but in his testimony Makomo said he took the decision to recuse himself from handling the same, following complaints raised by both Mnaba and Nighert Savania who was the complainant.

Asked by Guvamombe’s lawyer, Jonathan Samukange if accusations against Makomo were not supposed to be only handled by senior members of the magistrate’s department, Mujaya said: “Yes, he (Guvamombe) was following the normal procedure in handling the matter when he involved the deputy chief magistrate, the senior regional magistrate and his office.”

There were, however, some discrepancies between Mujaya and Makomo’s evidence regarding the meetings that were held in Guvamombe’s office as he sought to address the complaints raised by both Mnaba and Savania.

Makomo told High Court judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta that he held two meetings with Mujaya and Guvamombe, but Mujaya said they only had one meeting. Makomo also said complaints against him were raised by both Mnaba and Savania, but Mujaya said he only knew of Mnaba’s complaint and not that of Savania.

At the closure of the State case, Samukange told the court that his client would file for acquittal and the matter was postponed sine die.

In his defence, Guvamombe told the court that criminal charges levelled against him were raised by disgruntled male counterparts after his efforts to reprimand them for sexually harassing female members of staff and magistrates, did not go down well with them.

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