More lawyers arrested
ANOTHER set of lawyers appeared in court yesterday on different allegations, adding to the growing number of legal practitioners being dragged into the dock.
First to appear was Sylvester Hashiti, who is charged with criminal insult in which he is alleged to have claimed that a special 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.
Hashiti was not asked to plead to the charge when he appeared before magistrate Crispen Mberewere who remanded him out of custody to July 31 on $10 000 bail.
He was also ordered to surrender his passport and to report to the police once a week until the matter is finalised. Claims are that on December 17, 2018, Hashiti, while representing Francis Gudyanga, made an application for the recusal of the presiding magistrate.
It is said he also asked the magistrate to put on record that Macharaga received 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 it was discovered to be false and that the statement he made was malicious and meant to attack the complainant’s integrity.
In a separate matter also before the same magistrate, another lawyer Admire Rubaya was charged with money laundering and defeating the course of justice. He was jointly charged with his wife Miriam Chiba, a law officer and one Tapiwa Chidemo who was his client in another matter involving a property worthy US$30 000.
The trio was remanded out of custody to July 31 on $5 000 bail each.
Rubaya and Hashiti’s arrests come after several lawyers were also arrested last week on allegations of obstructing the course of justice, after filing an application challenging Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi’s appointment.
The police last week arrested Thabani Mpofu on allegations of filing an application with an affidavit by a “non-existent” person Simbarashe Zuze, as well as plagiarising the same application through another lawyer Joshua Chirambwe. The case also dragged in other lawyers Tapiwa Makanza and Choice Damiso.
In the application, Chirambwe sought the Constitutional Court to nullify Hodzi’s appointment on the basis that he had failed public interviews for the position.