A Harare magistrate yesterday set April 9 as the trial date for suspended chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, who was charged earlier this year with criminal abuse of office. Magistrate Lucy Mungwari set the date at a hearing at Rotten Row magistrates’ court where he was represented by his legal counsel Jonathan Samukange.
Guvamombe had objected to being tried by his subordinates, and had indicated he wanted his case heard in the High Court.
His lawyer advised the court yesterday that the full application would be made on that date.
“I understand that we will be allocated to a specific regional magistrate to be referred to the High Court for trial. The accused person is formally the chief magistrate of Zimbabwe and it is untenable that he be tried by any of his juniors,” Samukange said.
He also notified the court that he would be applying to have travel and reporting conditions imposed against Guvamombe scrapped in an application for variation of bail conditions tomorrow.
According to the State, sometime in June 2017, magistrate Elijah Makomo was assigned a criminal case in which one Nathan Mnaba was the accused and Nighert Savania the complainant.
During the trial, numerous applications were allegedly made by the defence which were dismissed due to lack of merit.
This allegedly prompted the defence to approach Makomo, who was presiding over the matter on June 26, 2017 demanding that he recuses himself from the case.
Makomo is said to have turned down the request and advised them to file their application with the High Court or make a formal application with him.
Makomo was later advised to report to Guvamombe’s office with Nathan’s court record and was told that he was mishandling the matter and as such he should recuse himself despite that there was no formal application from the defence for his recusal.
The court heard that Guvamombe went on to handle the complainant despite the fact that he had had a previous business relationship with Nathan’s father.
Guvamombe is also accused of offering internship to former ministers Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere who are both studying law at the University of Zimbabwe.