No magistrate in SADC region is qualified to try Guvamombe, says lawyer Samukange

Suspended Chief Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe’s lawyer Jonathan Samukange  submitted in court that all magistrates in the country and in the SADC region cannot try Guvamombe as they fall under him as a result of his rank.

This was in an attempt to have his matter tried at the High Court but the State opposed this prayer on Tuesday morning arguing  that Guvamombe can be tried by any magistrate until they are compelling reasons to have that magistrate recused.

Responding to an application by Guvamombe through his lawyer, Jonathan Samukange to have all magistrates recused from trying him, the State led by Zivanai Macharaga argued that Guvamombe can be tried by any judicial officer as the position he held is administrative and if he was doing his job properly there would be no reason why magistrate’s should recuse themselves.

The matter is being heard before a Hwange based Magistrate, Colet Ncube, a subordinate of Guvamombe.

“He (Guvamombe) did argue that he had a hand in the promotion of the current presiding magistrate but let us bear in mind that his job and duties are just but administrative,” argued Macharaga.

“He can only apply for any magistrate to be recused if he is impartial, which he would have to prove or if he is directly related to him besides those factors there is no reason for recusal. This is not the first time where a judicial officer has been accused and prosecuted by a fellow judicial officer. Justice Benjamin Paradza was once accused and Justice Chinembiri Bhunu refused to try him only because he said they went and fought in the liberation struggle together and then another judge, Simpson Mutambanengwe presided over the matter, convicted Paradza and even sentenced him.”

The court will make a ruling Wednesday afternoon.

Guvamombe is facing charges of criminal abuse of office.