Mathew Masinge, Court Reporter
Mashonaland West police armoury officer-in-charge inspector Crive Kadambure, charged with illegally acquiring and selling firearms to armed robbers and poachers, has been denied bail.
Kadambure had approached the High Court seeking bail pending trial.
Justice Benjamin Chikowero consolidated Kadambure’s application into a composite judgment including Edmore Manuwere, Wonder Kwaramba and Patrick Chirara who are also facing similar charges.
The four are facing charges of contravening the Firearms Act pertaining purchasing, acquiring or possessing any ammunition without holding a firearm certificate.
Kadambure is facing nine counts allegedly committed from 2016 to 2021.
Twenty counts were preferred against Edmore Manuwere, seven against Wonder Kwaramba and nine against Patrick Chirara.
Justice Chikowero dismissed the application saying releasing Kadambure and crew would undermine the public’s confidence in the criminal justice delivery system.
“In my judgment, the sense of peace and security among members of the public will be undermined or jeopardised by the release of the applicants.
“This is so because, even at bail hearing stage, the picture which is before me is that fifty-five high calibre firearms have fallen into wrong hands.
“The criminal law is not only for those accused of contravening its dictates. In that process of weighing the scales of justice it is my view that the release of the applicants will undermine or jeopardise the public confidence in the criminal justice,” ruled the judge.
It was also the judge’s view that releasing the crew would compromise safety of the public and that of the State.
“The net effect is that, between them, the applicants are alleged to have used fake firearms certificates to purchase and collect and ultimately sell fifty-five high calibre rifles.
“None of the applicants challenged their placement on remand. I therefore proceed on the basis that the allegations set out in the request for remand forms disclose offences against each.
“The bottom line however, is that applicants no longer have the firearms in their possession. Individuals who purchase firearms must secure them in a gun cabinet.
“It is for this reason that I accept that the release of the applicants on bail compromises not only the safety of the public but the security of the State,” reads the finding.
Allegations preferred to the suspects include the smuggling of guns through the Sango Border Post.
Some of the suspects who were arrested trying to sneak out firearms implicated Kadambure as an accomplice.
The assortment of hunting rifles comprised of 1 Remmington 700 rifle, 1 Gal 375, 2 HH Mag 375, 1W/N 458 and cormki 375.