Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
Harare regional magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro has recused herself from the Joana Mamombe trial.
Mamombe and her accomplice Cecelia Chimbiri are accused of publishing falsehoods after the reportedly faked their abduction.
On the initial appearance, they were being charged together with Netsai Marova who is currently on the run.
In recusing herself, Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said although the duo in their application failed to prove that she is partial, she was just going to recuse herself for the interestsof justice to be administered.
“The application was premised on a bail ruling I made involving accused persons in a completely different matter.
“In the ruling referred to, I made the following statements, it is clear that the allegations that are before them are not baseless and are premised on reasonable grounds.
“I also said they openly refuse to be tried raising numerous technicalities and at the same time they go and commit more offences and the accused persons are clearly riddling the interest of justice and the courts must be able to see beyond that veil of deceit.
“On page nine of the same bail ruling this court said in this case we have accused persons who have exhibited complete disdain for the administration of justice for purposes that only they can explain.
“There was no attempt by their counsel to assure the court that they will not continue with their contempt of court if released on bail and further down as long as the first accused continues playing the mental incapacity game on one hand and committing further crimes on the other and gets freed on bail it will remain a hurdle for the proper administration of justice and this is a typical case in which the admin of justice in general and the courts in particular are being sold a dummy.
“When filing an application for recusal, person alleging that the judicial officer is impartial or biased, must be reasonable and the apprehension of bias must also be reasonable.
“Indeed the court made the sentiments referred to in a different matter and the sentiments are subjective as mentioned by the State, to this court, the apprehension that this court is biased has not been proven
“This court will however recuse itself in the interest of justice even though it’s confident that it executes its duties impartially,” she said.
The duo was ordered to appear in court on November 22.