CHIEF magistrate Faith Mushure yesterday ordered the State to record a statement from its witnesses before they can testify in the case involving Harare West legislator Joanna Mamombe.
This order was made after Mamombe, and her accomplice Cecilia Chimbiri, raised an objection against the testimony of an official from Econet, claiming they were not furnished with his statement before trial commencement.
“The accused persons are undergoing trial for publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State and an alternative charge of obstruction of justice.
“The State called the third witness, which the duo opposed on the basis that they were not given the witness’ statement and, therefore, were not aware of what the witness was going to testify.
“Disclosure is essential in achieving a fair trial
“The defence confirmed that they received a letter that was written by the witness, Godfrey Mangezi, that was issued to the defence as part of the particulars of trial.
“There’s a heavy burden on the State to ensure a fair trial and fair disclosure is necessary in achieving a fair trial and everyone who comes to court is entitled to a fair trial.
“The right to a fair trial is fundamental and fair disclosure is inseparable and it appears that both counsels agree to this and it’s not an issue that the State hasn’t served the defence with Mangezi’s statement and the State is ordered to provide the statement before he testifies,” said Magistrate Mushure.
The matter was remanded to May 23 for trial continuation.