Top National Prosecuting Authority lawyer Chris Mutangadura has been transferred to Guruve in a move that has shocked the legal fraternity.
In an internal memorandum dated February 7, recently-confirmed Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi told the highly competent youthful lawyer — who is the director of the Economic Crimes Unit — that all cases that he had been working on would be handed over to someone else to conclude.
“You are hereby informed that with immediate effect, you are transferred to Guruve National Prosecuting Authority station. You will be taking instructions from there. All your work to be properly handed over to the national director of Public Prosecutions for further action,” Hodzi told Mutangadura in the letter.
Mutangadura confirmed he had been shunted to Guruve when the Daily News on Sunday reached him for comment, curtly saying: “It is true that I am now working in Guruve”.
While Mutangadura would not be drawn into explaining the circumstances leading to his “demotion” to Mashonaland Central Province, sources in the judiciary said he fell out of the favour with the “new dispensation.”
The sources said there were also untested allegations of bribe-taking, which the Daily News on Sunday could not independently verify.
Mutangadura was first appointed acting chief law officer in 2009 to replace Michael Mugabe who had also been transferred under unclear circumstances to Mutare amid reports of rising tensions between law officers and the then director of public prosecutions Florence Ziyambi.
Mutangadura’s elevation then raised a few eyebrows in the then Attorney-General’s office because he was regarded as a “greenhorn” just coming from the University of Zimbabwe’s Law School.
Mutangadura’s transfer, insiders said, also reflects the underlying flight in the PG’s office.
“Experienced law officers have left the office, citing poor working conditions while young graduates from the University of Zimbabwe who might have been recruited are also opting for private practice,” an insider said.
“The situation has been deteriorating in the past few months and the AG’s office is now manned by inexperienced staff as well as police prosecutors,” said the source, adding that the police officers had to deal with cases in the High Court as well as the Supreme Court.