Prosecutors’ claims that Harare mayor Jacob Mafume tried to bribe a key witness in his impending corruption trial, hit a snag when a ZRP cop on the case confessed to finding a paltry USD65 instead of the USD1000 he is accused of trying to bribe using.
A senior police officer admitted under cross-examination that Mafume had just US$65 when he was arrested, and an Econet number he was allegedly communicating with to set up the bribe was not registered to the witness.
Harare magistrate has since Ngoni Nduna postponed his ruling on Mafume’s bail application to Friday.
Prosecutors led by Constance Ngombengombe and Kudzai Chigwedere read out the latest charges against Mafume, accusing him of offering witness Edgar Dzehonye US$1,500 to change his testimony.
ZRP officer on the case, Joseph Sirihwindi laid reasons why he was opposed to granting bail to Mafume.
“He is now facing two charges as such he has high propensity to escape justice
“He is likely to interfere with witnesses since he has already shown the propensity,” he said. The State therefore said these were its compelling reasons for denying Mafume bail.
In his submissions however, Thabani Mpofu said the charges against his client were “as amateurish as they are ridiculous.”
He said the number which was cited in the form 242 did not belong to Dzehonye but to Dumda who in Mafume’s case was not a State witness.
“The State must say there are no conditions that can conceivably secure the interest of justice.
“There can be no doubt that this is a bodged trap gone bad
“There are no call records showing calls made by the accused to Dzehonye
“He never called Dzehonye but was called by Dumba the person he knows. A person whom the State has not taken a statement and a person the state accepts he was at the scene.
“The accused got to the car. And when he was talking to Dumba he was not aware that there was a person at the back seat and then he was apprehended.
“The cellphone number involved belongs to Dumba and not Dzehonye. Dzehonye has given a different cell number.
“There are lies your Worship, a tissue of them told about this number,” Mpofu said.