The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is investigating circumstances leading to the release of a top Registrar General’s Office staffer Gorden Tsuro from jail, amid complaints of an irregularity.
Tsuro, who was in 2012 jailed three years for attacking his wife with an axe, unlawfully enjoyed freedom for seven years following the dismissal of his criminal appeal until last year when The Herald unearthed the scandal.
He was in November last year arrested and locked up in prison, but a month later the prosecution consented to the reinstatement of his 2013 appeal.
The prosecution, in a space of days after reinstatement of the appeal, again consented to Tsuro’s release on bail.
The Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) last week asked ZACC to investigate circumstances surrounding the release of Tsuro on bail, saying the prosecution might have acted improperly.
This week, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo confirmed receipt of a complaint from SACU, saying investigations had already begun.
“We have opened investigations into the matter”, said the ZACC boss.
Head of SACU, Mr Thabani Mpofu, last week wrote to Justice Matanda-Moyo asking her to look into how an officer in the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) consented to the reinstatement of Tsuro’s appeal and release on bail after the appeal had been struck off the roll because he (Tsuro) had missed deadlines to pursue his appeal.
The Herald exposed the irregularity last year after Tsuro, who was sentenced to three years in jail in 2012 for attacking his wife with an axe, had his appeal dismissed by the High Court in 2013 after he failed to pursue the matter.
After the dismissal of the appeal, he was supposed to be sent back to the magistrates’ court to be committed to prison to serve his sentence, but he continued enjoying his freedom for six years with some thinking he had been acquitted by the High Court.
He was only arrested and committed to prison at the end of last year.
Investigations by The Herald revealed that Tsuro briefly showed up at work upon his release this year and went into his office, much to the surprise of his colleagues who thought he was serving jail time.
Authorities at the RG’s Office immediately suspended Tsuro to allow them to have an appreciation of his case after they read in The Herald that he had been committed to prison to serve his three-year-jail term.
Tsuro (49) was on June 26, 2012, convicted of seriously injuring his wife, Ms Rosemary Charlie, after striking her with an axe during a domestic dispute.
He was initially charged with attempted murder, but then Harare regional magistrate Mr William Bhila found him guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
On the same date, Tsuro’s lawyers, Mupindu & Mugiya, filed a notice of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court, but this was not pursued.
In terms of the law, such a dismissal of the appeal must be followed by the issuance of a warrant of arrest to apprehend the convict and commit him or her to prison.