By A Correspondent- Former chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe’s trial on charges of criminal abuse of office and defeating the course of justice resumed at the High Court yesterday with his ex-deputy Elijah Makomo taking to the witness stand.
Makomo told Justice Felistas Chatukuta that contrary to State claims that he was forced to recuse himself in a matter where he was conflicted, he did so of his own volition.
The State had alleged that Guvamombe forced Makomo to recuse himself from a matter involving businessman Nathan Mnaba.
In his testimony, Makomo said he took the decision to recuse himself from handling the matter following complaints raised by both Mnaba, who was the accused in the matter and Nighert Parween Savania who was the complainant.
He was asked to read a report which he authored in response to the allegations that had been raised against him for having failed to properly handle the trial leading to his recusal.
Makomo dismissed allegations that he had received a US$8 000 bribe from Savania and further challenged Mnaba to prove his allegations.
Through his lawyers, Jonathan Samukange and Brighton Pabwe, Guvamombe denied the charges being levelled against him, accusing his former workmates and colleagues of concocting the charges to cover up their sexual abuse cases.
In one of the counts, Guvamombe is accused of allowing former Cabinet ministers Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere to be attached at the Harare Magistrates Court from the University of Zimbabwe while facing criminal charges.
In his defence, he told the court that his actions were above board since he delegated the issue of the students’ attachment to Makomo, who then forwarded the matter to the human resources department for implementation.
When the trial started, Judicial Service Commission secretary Walter Chikwanha absolved Guvamombe of any wrongdoing, saying the commission then did not have a proper policy on student attaches.-newsday