Suspended chief magistrate Guvamombe’s bid to recover passport hits a snag

A Harare magistrate has on Wednesday dismissed the application for the cancellation of bail conditions and the returning of his   passport submitted by the suspended chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe .

Guvamombe appeared before Regional magistrates Bianca Makwande where she dismissed the application .

 “Our law allows the cancellation of bail conditions but this is done when it is necessary in the interest of justice there are no basis of scratching of bail conditions and the returning of the passport and therefore the application is dismissed’’.

‘’And at the moment the stay of proceeding does not extinguish the charges that the accused person is facing,’’ she said.

The matter was postponed to September 17.

Guvamombe is facing two charges of criminal abuse of office.

Allegations 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 and 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 recuses himself from the case.

Makomo was said to have turned down the request and advised them to file their 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 they 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 measuring 5 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 and unlawfully interfered with the magistrate. He is also charged for giving Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira places of attachment at the Harare Magistrate’s court.