Guvamombe trial deferred over record

Tarisai Machakaire


FORMER chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, who is facing corruption charges before the High Court, has accused the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) of denying him access to a record of tribunal proceedings that previously cleared him on the allegations he now faces.

Guvamombe appeared before Justice Felicia Chatukuta yesterday for continuation of his trial on the count in which he is accused of exerting pressure on magistrate Elijah Makomo to recuse himself from handling his friend’s son’s fraud case.

He is also accused of unlawfully offering work-related learning places to former Cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira at Harare Magistrates’ Courts at a time they had pending criminal cases there.

Guvamombe’s lawyer, Jonathan Samukange, accused the State of hiding the record of proceedings of the tribunal after prosecutor Whisper Mabhaudhi had told that court that the JSC could not avail it because it was not mechanically recorded.

“Most of the witnesses that the State intends to call are the same that testified before the tribunal that cleared him of any wrong doing before Justice Mandeya. I do not believe that a whole judge of the High Court would have presided over such proceedings without recording anything,” Samukange said.

“What the State is just doing is to frustrate the accused person because the complainants who are the JSC are also the custodians of that record and they are aware that it will bolster his defence on this particular count.”

However, Chatukuta ruled that she would not be compelling the State to produce the record as that would not be compliant with the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. The matter was postponed to November 3 after witnesses Makomo and Hosea Mujaya failed to turn up yesterday.

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