State urged to drop charges

Source: State urged to drop charges | Herald (Africa)

Nyore Madzianike-Senior Court Reporter 

THE State has been urged to consider withdrawing charges against a top official in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, who allegedly facilitated the sale of a low density residential stand in Harare to a minor for US$65, if it was failing to complete investigations in the matter.

Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje also advised the State to consider setting down the matter for trial without a title deed, which it is failing to retrieve from the Registrar of Deeds’ office.

Mr Mambanje said the court will be left with no option but to consider refusing Rejoice Pazvakavambwa further remand when she returns to court on May 31, if the State fails to get the documents from the Deeds office.

The State indicated that it was having difficulties getting the document, which it said was critical in prosecuting her.

Mr Mambanje said this after Pazvakavambwa, through lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya, applied for refusal of further remand saying the State had been dragging its feet since her arrest, and not much progress had been made towards finalisation of the matter.

Through Mr Rubaya, Pazvakavambwa applied that she be removed from remand and be summoned back to court when the State is ready to prosecute her.

This was after the State led by Mrs Netsai Mushayabasa applied for a postponement of the matter, saying police were having difficulties retrieving an original title deed from the Registrar of Deeds.

Mrs Mushayabasa told the court that the State will set the trial date once the police get the outstanding document. 

Mr Rubaya opposed the State’s application for postponement saying it does not take much time to authenticate a document. 

“Surely it would not need more than six months for the State to simply authenticate title deeds, which form the basis of this particular prosecution.

“The State said the Deeds Registrar cannot locate the deed. They do not know whether they will locate it or not. The accused cannot remain on remand while they look for the document,” he said.

Mr Rubaya said the State was violating Pazvakavambwa’s right to a fair trial within reasonable time by taking so long to complete its investigations.

The court gave State up to May 31 to finalise the investigations and set down the matter for trial.

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