Two chief public prosecutors – Rosa Takuva and Justin Uladi – could face a criminal probe after an alleged clandestine maneuver to “destroy” Harare lawyer Admire Rubaya was unmasked.
A WhatsApp conversation between the two officials scheming against Rubaya accidentally leaked, exposing their alleged scheme.
Uladi and Takuva, who were both recently appointed by the National Prosecution Authority as acting Deputy Prosecutor-Generals, were reportedly caught pants down when their communication leaked.
NewsDay is in possession of communication between the two prosecutors plotting Rubaya’s downfall.
“Mastermind ndi [is] Rubaya. Rubaya was Jefat’s [lawyer] ku Plumtree trial. He’s the one who created the defence yekuti [that] the gold belongs to Sibanda. A defence he has used in previous trials. Dai Jefat akatoita plead hake tomushandisa against Rubaya (I hope he pleads guilty so that we can use him against Rubaya),” Takuva said in the conversation.
Uladi responded by urging her to pass the information to the media, and offered to connect her to a journalist, who could assist to publish the story.
In the communication, Takuva stated that Rubaya was her main target in the prosecution case before the High Court because she believed that the Harare lawyer was the mastermind of Jefat Chaganda’s defence in a gold smuggling case at the Plumtree Magistrates Court.
Chaganda said the gold belonged to one Lovemore Sibanda.
Takuva alleged that Rubaya had used a similar defence in other gold matters that he appeared as a defence counsel.
In the conversation, Takuva advised Uladi of her plot to coerce Chaganda to plead guilty to the charges before the High Court so that she could use him to implicate Rubaya in the pending trial.
Both Uladi and Takuva denied knowledge of the chats, demanding to know their source.
“I have no comment over that because I know nothing about it,” Uladi said.
Takuva said: “I have no knowledge about that chat.”
Rubaya, together with eight others, is facing allegations of theft of gold from Plumtree Police Station and obstruction of justice before the High Court in Bulawayo over the role he played in representing Chaganda in a gold smuggling case at Plumtree Regional Magistrates Court.
Rubaya represented Chaganda sometime in 2018. Chaganda was facing charges of smuggling and unlawful possession of about 14kg of gold. He was acquitted by a Plumtree regional magistrate. The gold was released to Sibanda.
Rubaya and Chaganda were subsequently arrested together with the Plumtree regional magistrate Timeon Makunde, prosecutor Stanley Chinyanganya and all the detectives who had arrested Chaganda.
The detectives were Ginger Vhiyano, Ladislous Tinacho, Tranos Ruvando, Sidingimuzi Ncube and Ladislous Tambooneyi.
They were all hauled to the High Court in Bulawayo for trial before the beleaguered Justice Thompson Mabhikwa.
Rubaya’s case had commenced before Justice Joseph Musakwa before his recent elevation to the Supreme Court bench.
Chaganda defaulted on May 21, 2021, but was rearrested on September 14, 2021 resulting in bail revocation.
It is now feared that since Chaganda is now at Khami Remand Prison, Takuva could easily access Chaganda to cajole him to abandon his defence and contrive a plot to crush Rubaya.
A Harare lawyer, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said “after reading the WhatsApp chats, there was every reason for law enforcement agents, including the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, to act because this vexatious conduct of Takuva and Uladi is criminal abuse of office and prosecutorial authority on their part as senior prosecutors.”
Another lawyer added: “It is crystal clear that they are using their prosecutorial powers to victimise Rubaya for successfully prosecuting Chaganda’s defence during the Plumtree trial. Public prosecutors are sworn to exercise their functions without prejudice or bias.
“Uladi is Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi’s prodigy, who has, until the recently leaked communication, characterised allegations against Rubaya as “clumsy and senseless”.
Rubaya refused to comment.