Principal public prosecutor Henry Muringani appeared in court yesterday on fresh charges of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly assisted four armed robbers prepare bail applications that resulted in their release by the High Court.
Muringani, who was already on remand on another similar charge, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje on the four new counts of criminal abuse of office.
He was not asked to plead to the charges and was remanded in custody to tomorrow for his bail application.
For the State, Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti said that between November 24 last year and January 27 this year police arrested Vincent Kondo, Bill Tirihama, Edwin Muchagwa and Prosper Chidaushe on armed robbery charges.
They appeared at Mbare and Harare magistrates courts and were all told only the High Court could grant them bail.
They then made separate bail applications at the High Court through their legal practitioners and their applications were dismissed.
But while the four were in remand prison, they heard that Muringani was assisting those remanded in custody to get bail.
Some of the inmates gave their relatives Muringani’s phone numbers so that they contact him for assistance.
Muringani is aid to have personally approached relatives of other inmates at High Court, Harare following the dismissal of their applications and asked them to look for him for assistance.
He would then exchange contact numbers with them.
It is said that Muringani demanded US$1 000 from Vincent Kondo, and US$500 each from Bill Tirihama, Edwin Muchagwa and Prosper Chidaushe.
The court heard that Kondo’s mother found US$300 which she gave Muringani and was assured that her son would get bail.
Tirihama’s wife paid US$200 for the services, Muchagwa’s wife paid US$300 while Chidaushe’s brother-in-law personally approached Muringani for assistance since they know each other.
Muringani is said to have phoned the four’s relatives to meet him at Whitehouse to collect papers which were to be used for bail application.
It is alleged that the charges were changed from armed robbery to rape and attempted murder charges.
On March 1 this year, the four appeared as self-actors, that is without lawyers, at the High Court, Harare using the papers prepared by Muringani.
The matters were deferred and upon investigations, it was established that the new charges were false.