Guvamombe seeks discharge

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Tarisai Machakaire

FORMER chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, who is accused of corruption, has applied for acquittal after the close of the State’s case, arguing that witnesses who testified against him failed to pin the alleged offence on him.

Guvamombe is accused of criminal abuse of office by allegedly offering work-related learning placements to former Cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts when they were facing pending cases at the same institution.

In the application filed before the High Court, Guvamombe submitted that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against him, adding that some State witnesses corroborated his defence.

He highlighted how Judicial Services Commission secretary Walter Chikwanha and former Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano’s evidence had exonerated him from the offence.

“With all due respect his (Chikwanha) evidence was of no value at all to the State’s case. One can assume that he (Chikwanha) had been called to support the allegation,” Guvamombe said.

Guvamombe was also facing another charge of allegedly exerting pressure on magistrate Elijah Makomo to recuse himself from his friend’s son’s matter.

Guvamombe contends that the State only put Makomo on the stand as their evidence and his testimony was not supported by anyone else.

“His (Makomo) evidence is not corroborated by anyone either in writing or verbatim. It is his word against that of the applicant, who says he did not pressurise him and the attitude of the applicant is confirmed by the fact that he was not dealing with the matter personally and instead allowed the whole hierarchy to be involved.

“In the circumstances, there is no basis on which this court can accept the evidence of Makomo which in our view appears to be vindictive and sadistic in nature,” Guvamombe added.

The State is yet to respond to the application.

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