Chief Magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi has expressed disquiet over alleged “delay tactics” being employed by former University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura and his defence team.
Nyagura who is facing charges of criminal abuse of office, is said to have illegally awarded former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe a doctorate in 2014.
The case has been pending since 2018 and Nyagura has changed lawyers in between and unsuccessfully made cocktail of applications prompting a delay in trial commencement.
The matter has been postponed on several occasions at the instigation of the defence, which cited various reasons each time the matter was brought to court for trial.
The matter was set for trial but Nyagura indicated that he had sought the services of a new lawyer-Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara who was represented by Advocate Tafadzwa Mapuranga who indicated that the former was engaged at the High Court.
He sought for a postponement of the matter on the basis that Adv Zhuwarara who was instructed by Nyagura last Friday needed time to go through the record for him to prepare for trial.
The postponement did not go down well with both the magistrate and the prosecution which accused Nyagura and his defence team of playing games with the court.
Mr Mutevedzi said; “This matter has been pending since 2018 and the accused person should have instructed a lawyer of his choice long time back. Why did he instruct him on Friday? Who was holding him back? I have been very tolerant with this matter. We cannot continue to be told that the matter can’t proceed to trial every time it’s set down for trial. We cannot do what suits the defence always. You cannot just wake up and impose trial dates of your choice. I want Adv Zhuwarara to come to court and answer certain questions.”
Mr Mutevedzi has briefly stood down the matter to allow Adv Zhuwarara to appear before him.