Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
THERE was no joy once again yesterday for suspended chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe after the presiding magistrate refused to remove him from remand giving more time to the State to get ready for trial next year.
Special Unit prosecutor Brian Vito who had made an undertaking last Thursday, to indict Guvamombe for trial at the High Court had a brand new reason for seeking a postponement telling Deputy Chief Magistrate Chrispen Mberewere that the High Court is fully booked for next year’s first quarter.
“Last week State made an undertaking to indict him today but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case as we were not able to be given a date in the first term because the High Court is already fully booked till March 2020,” said Vito.
Vito handed in the court lists and added that the matter was being awarded priority status and in the event that any of the scheduled matters don’t kick off, it will be the first to be considered.
Guvamombe’s lawyer Jonathan Samkange told the court that he was ‘vigorously’ opposed to the application reverting back to regional magistrate Bianca Makwande’s ruling that failure to indict Guvamombe on December 5 would result in him being removed from remand, a decision which Mberewere over-rode last week giving the State more time.
“Whenever the State believes they are ready, they can approach the Registrar or the Judge President and they’ll be assisted to get an earliest possible date, but this is just another story by the State and the fact of the matter is the matter wont kick off because there was no criminal abuse of office,” said a visibly annoyed Samkange.
In his ruling, Mberewere said by removing Guvamombe from remand on Samkange’s submissions he would have judged the evidence prematurely and added that he was satisfied with the steps the State had taken to show that they were facing difficulties in indicting the suspended chief magistrate.
Subsequently, the matter was remanded to January 20 next year.