Paul Pindani in Chinhoyi
A High Court prosecutor has been remanded in custody on charges of criminal abuse of office.
Henry Mugove Muringani, 40, was arraigned before Harare Regional Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa charged with six counts of criminal abuse of office and alternatively bribe.
Muringani was remanded in custody to February 10 for judgment.
Prosecuting, Herald Matura and Tendai Tapi, told the court that Muringani is a public officer stationed at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head office.
Allegations are that on December 20, 2021, CID Homicide arrested Tatenda Tawanda Mutengo for armed robbery.
The State said Mutengo was also found in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence.
He was remanded in custody for that offence.
On January 17 last year, Mutengo applied for bail at the High Court and it was denied.
Further allegations are that while in custody at Harare Remand Prison, Mutengo got wind of a person employed by NPA, who could facilitate his bail.
The State alleges that on January 29, last year, Eliah Tatenda Murenzvi, Mutengo’s uncle, visited him at the remand prison, and Mutengo gave him his CR number and Muringani’s cellphone.
Mutengo’s uncle phoned Muringani and he suggested that they meet at White House along the Harare-Bulawayo road.
Murenzvi met Muringani as per agreement and he indicated that he was able to apply for Mutengo’s bail at the High Court and demanded US$500.
Murenzvi paid Muringani in instalments of $20, $380 and $100.
According to the State’s allegations, on February 6, last year, Muringani called Murenzvi and gave him some papers to pass on to Mutengo for his bail application at the High Court,
However, the papers had an attempted murder charge bearing CRB 12195)21, which Criminal Record Book number was for Mutengo’s unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition offence.
Mutengo applied for bail at the High Court on February 8 as a self-actor using the papers prepared by Muringani and he was granted $55 000 bail.
He was, however, not released by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS), as his armed robbery case was not dealt with by the High Court.
It is alleged that on February 17, Muringani further prepared some papers for bail application, but substituted the armed robbery offence with one of rape.
He was paid US$2 000 by Mutenzvi and on February 23, Mutengo appeared in the High Court using the papers and he was granted bail of $10 000 with reporting conditions.
Detectives got wind that Muringani was preparing the bail application papers and arrested him.
The police recovered two cellphones and a laptop used to commit the offence.
Further investigations discovered that Muringani had used the same modus operandi to get bail for other inmates on remand.