Prosecutors condemn arrest of colleagues

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Prosecutors condemn arrest of colleagues

Court Correspondent

The Prosecutors Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has expressed disgruntlement at what it called the arrest and alleged harassment of two public prosecutors stationed at Chivi Magistrates Court, including the public prosecutor-in-charge.

The arrest of prosecutor Phinos Kangwari and prosecutor-in-charge Kudzai Dhemba was instigated by Chivi magistrate Mrs Caroline Tafira Nyoni.

The two appeared yesterday at the Masvingo Magistrates Court facing criminal abuse of duty charges.

In a statement, the PAZ said it has zero tolerance to all acts of corruption and corrupt activities.

Allegations are that their arrest arises from a matter which was procedurally vetted and properly placed before the court.

“Be that as it may, the prosecutors are being charged with abuse of public office emanating from: Properly amending and drafting a charge sheet and State outline of the State case and asking for an adjournment during court proceedings,” reads the statement.

PAZ said prosecutors are guaranteed protection by the law and Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe to execute their duties without fear of harassment, intimidation or threats of being arrested in conducting their duties.

PAZ said the incident in Chivi was therefore worrying and distressing.

PAZ, however, applauded the decision made not to place the two prosecutors on remand on the allegations emanating from the course and confinements of their duties.

It also requested that all stakeholders of justice work together as mandated by the Constitution and professionally respect the principle of independence.

Matters relating to the conduct of prosecutors during the course of their duties be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe, it said.

Circumstances are that on May 6, Sergeant Tlou, Constable Chidzura and Constable Sibanda were attending a session at Chivi Magistrate Court where Zebron Chiramduro, Nasho Jimu and Thomas Nhamo were being tried for illegal dealing in fuel.

Kangwari and Dhemba allegedly fraudulently altered the outline of State case facts and misrepresented the court by stating that Chiranduro was arrested with 20 litres of diesel, while in actual fact he had 60 litres.

The duo further omitted completely the 20 litres of diesel Nasho Jimu had and stated that he only had 40 litres of paraffin.

Kangwari misled the court by giving falsified documents, which is the outline of State case, so as to give advantage to the accused through being given an option of a fine.

It is also alleged that Kangwari managed to omit 60 litres of diesel from the State outline valued at US$96.