Judge shooting: Man has case to answer 

Source: Judge shooting: Man has case to answer | The Herald

Judge shooting: Man has case to answer

Senior Court Reporter

The Good Hope resident who allegedly shot at his neighbour, High Court judge Justice Emiliah Muchawa, has a case to answer and so must mount his defence, Harare magistrate Mrs Evelyn Mashavakure has ruled.

Rejecting an application for discharge at the end of the State case, Mrs Mashavakure ruled that there were certain areas that Nation Musekiwa needed to explain that arose after Justice Muchawa and other State witnesses testified in court. So he has been ordered to return to court on Friday for his defence.

Through his lawyer Mr Dumisani Mthombeni, Musekiwa had argued that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case from the evidence adduced by State witnesses. A prima facie case is one that is good enough to convict unless the defence can show that it is based on incorrect facts or wrongly drawn conclusions, hence where this obtains, the defence needs to question State facts and conclusions

He had also argued that the State had failed to prove that he intended to shoot at the judge on the day in question.

The State led by Mr Anesu Chirenje had opposed the application, saying Musekiwa’s conduct was wrong by discharging the firearm.

“The accused does not dispute the fact that his conduct was wrong but he is very apologetic and justifies his actions that he acted with the suspicion that the couple might be robbers.

“The accused person does not dispute the fact that the complainant was not aware of his intentions neither was he aware of their intentions, hence as a reasonable driver he should have just drove away

“The accused person does not even dispute following the complainant when she had sped-off for a distance, fully knowing that his actions and conduct amounts to inducement of fear.

“The accused does not dispute that his actions would result to mental torture and mental harm,” he said.

The State had argued that Musekiwa should explain his conduct considering that he does not dispute that the drivers neither attacked him or threatened to attack him.

“They were just driving to their residence; there was no need to pursue them and discharging a pellet gun.

“The accused person both in his defence and cross examination is just apologising to the complainant and an apology is an admission of guilt and improper conduct that amounts to nuisance.

“Therefore, the court cannot acquit the accused person at this stage,” he said.

Allegations against Musekiwa are that on January 31 at around 7.15pm, Justice Muchawa and her husband, Pascal Ngwarai Machawa, were driving home along Old Mazowe Road.

When they reached Tom Farm, they saw Musekiwa driving his Honda Civic in front of them and they trailed him until turning into Goodhope Road.

It is alleged that Musekiwa went to park his car in front of Justice Machawa’s main gate prompting the couple to stop their vehicle.

Musekiwa is alleged to have fired a shot into the air so Justice Machawa and her husband, now really worried, drove to the home of another near neighbour, Justice Energy Bhanu, where there were security officers.

Constables Kambamura and Chidaushe, who were on duty, opened the gate after hearing the hoot at the gate.

The couple narrated what had transpired to the police officers who went to the scene where they recovered a 9mm blank cartridge.

On the following day, Musekiwa went to Harare Central Police Station where he told the police that he was the one who had fired the shot on the previous night.

Investigations led to the recovery of a pellet gun that was taken to CID Ballistics for forensic examination.