Guvamombe’s application for refusal of further remand dismissed

A HARARE magistrate on Tuesday dismissed the application for the removal from further remand submitted by  suspended chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe.

This comes after  defence lawyer Jonathan Samukange submitted that his client could not be remanded at the regional court.

“This court has no power to remand Guvamombe basing on the fact that the High court has stopped trail so that it will be inducted at the high court,” Samukange said

Further, Samukange told court that the State was humiliating his client.

“We came here early and waited up to 11am as if we had nothing to do. My client cannot be humiliated like this. If the State is not yet ready, it should remove him from further remand,” said the defence lawyer.

In response, the State led by Zivanai Macharaga dismissed the application in order to allow it to be heard at the high Court.

“The court is remanding the matter so as to allow it to be inducted at the high court,” Macharaga said.

Further, Macharaga said if the application was granted, the State would suffer prejudice as this would violate bail conditions which restrict movements of the accused person.

“The bail conditions tell Guvamombe not to travel a radius of 50 km outside Harare,” Macharaga said.

Guvamombe appeared before Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande facing two charges of criminal abuse of office where his application was dismissed.

The matter was remanded to November 4.

Allegations against Guvamombe arose sometime in June 2017, when magistrate Elijah Makomo was assigned a criminal case in which one Nathan Mnaba was the accused and Nighert Savania the complainant.

During the trial, numerous applications were allegedly made by the defence but were dismissed due to lack of merit.

This allegedly prompted the defence to approach Makomo, who was presiding over the matter, on June 26 2017 demanding that he recuse himself from the case.

Makomo was said to have turned down the request and advised the defence to file its application with the High Court or make a formal application with him.

On the return date, the parties reported back and informed him that they had not filed a formal application of recusal, instead maintained that he should simply recuse himself without any application, the court heard.

He declined and deferred the matter to July 18 to allow them to comply with the court’s directive.

On the same date, the court heard that Hosea Mujaya, a senior regional magistrate and then Makomo’s superior, advised him to report to Guvamombe’s office with Nathan’s court record.

Makomo complied and he was told by Guvamombe in the presence of Mujaya that he was mishandling the matter and as such he should recuse himself despite that there was no formal application from the defence for his recusal.

The court heard that Guvamombe went on to handle the complainant despite the fact that he had had a previous business relationship with Nathan’s father, Manson Mnaba. Guvamombe had in June 2011 bought a piece of land, stand 50 Carrick Creagh, Borrowdale Estate, Harare, measuring five hectares.

As a result of Guvamombe’s alleged interference and unlawful instruction, Makomo recused himself despite that there was neither a formal application nor lawful reason for his recusal. Guvamombe, the court further heard, eventually allocated Nathan’s record to another magistrate and was later found not guilty and acquitted.

According to the State, Guvamombe acted contrary and inconsistent to his duties as a public officer by involving himself in a matter he had a conflict of interest in and unlawfully interfered with the magistrate. He is also charged for giving Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira places of attachment at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts since the two had a pending court cases.