Lawyer wants charges dropped  

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Blessing Masakadza

HARARE top lawyer Sylvester Hashiti, who is accused of alleging that a prosecutor in the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the office of the President, Zivanai Macharaga, had received a US$20 000 bribe from an accused person, wants the charges dropped, saying they are meant to embarrass him.

Hashiti, through his lawyers Tawanda Zhuwarara and Keith Kachambwa, said he never made the remarks being attributed to him and the record of proceedings which the prosecution is basing its arguments on does not mention anything to that effect.
State counsel Garudzo Ziyaduma opposed the application and insisted the charge is clear as it captures all the essential elements.
He said Macharaga, felt degraded by the alleged remarks as they were covered by the media.
Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna will on Monday give a ruling on the application.
Claims are that on December 17, 2018 Hashiti, representing former Mines ministry permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga made an application for recusal of the presiding magistrate.
It is said he also asked the magistrate to put on record that Macharaga received a
US$20 000 bribe from an accused person in one of the special courts, claims which were published in the media.
The State said investigations into the claims were made and they were found to be false and that the statement he made was malicious and meant to attack the complainant’s integrity.
Hashiti argues that the State is attributing to him utterances he did not make. He argued that the charges are based on a false premise and cannot be pleaded to.
The lawyer further argued that the State also agreed to amend the charge to remove the word bribe and said this resulted in the charge being “colourless”, but did not amend the State outline.
 “The record of proceedings on which the prosecution bases the charges has no part where the accused said any of the aforementioned statements,” the lawyers argued.
“The prosecution’s own State papers are shockingly contradictory and totally in conflict with the record of proceedings upon which they are based.
“From the record, the accused never uses the word bribe and actually states that the allegation was not his but he, the accused, had been told by another person,” he argued.

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