October 20, 2020

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Court Case Turns Nasty In Rusape

Shingirai Vambe in Rusape

In a Case which is yet to be ascertained, for the second time, Rusape Town Council, Human Resource manager, was brought before the court last week.

Togarepi Nerwande aged 43 is alleged to have been brought before Rusape Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for assaulting his subordinate.

In a twist of events before the matter could be heard by the Magistrate, the Public Prosecutor said the accused was to be called in by way of summon on the 9th of October and this did not go well with the complainant.

Norman Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, representing the complainant, Tariro Mhondiwa, has taken the matter further to the Chief Magistrate, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Prosecutor General (PG), Resident Magistrate and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to mention just a few.

Mugiya claims his client is always the victim of corrupt activities involving Rusape Town Council, ZRP and recently it was a Public Prosecutor.

“Our client was assaulted on the 15th of September and reported the matter to the police, they called the accused and the police in fact persuaded our client to withdraw the charges as the accused was a very important stakeholder in the area”.

“Our Client was told by one police officer that she was wasting her time in reporting this matter as the accused is a person of influence in Rusape, considering that there are some police printings that are done at Rusape Town Council” Mugiya said.

It is public knowledge that Rusape Town Council has been housing public officers from different organisations including security services in their houses at the expense of its workers who don’t have places to stay so that Rusape Town Council officials can get protection, and these properties are overseen by the accused person.

Upon arrival at the court, the Plaintiff was allegedly turned away by one, Theresa Mangwende who told her that the accused had been released on summons and advised her to come back to court on the 9th of October 2019 due to backlog at the Magistrates Court.

In a letter that was copied to seven responsible authorities, Mugiya wrote,” in a call attempt, the lady prosecutor referred our client to her boss, Ronnie Hweja, who verbally said the matter was none of his business, I then spoke with the resident prosecutor who said there was nothing wrong with what happened, Prosecutors have a right to put the accused in court or not and in this case they chose to proceed by way of summons since there is a backlog at the court”.

Mugiya further highlighted that this is the sort of conduct which will cause the public to lose confidence with our courts and is the sort of conduct that prompted the Judicial Service Commission to replace all their staff from Rusape Magistrates Court.

The legal practitioner told this publication that the matter be transferred to another court and her client is prepared to foot all transport bills in pursuit of justice.

“I was advised to reduce my complaint in writing by the provincial public prosecutor who happened to be on leave but attended to us professionally and considerately” Mugiya said.

Meanwhile, the accused was further summoned for a claim of RTGS $200.000 for damages, humiliation and medical bills by the complaint. Earlier Mhondiwa was assaulted by the accused at Rusape Town Council premises but no action was taken as only a warning was issued by the parent ministry, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

However, Jonathan Chingwinyiso, Manicaland Provincial Public Prosecutor, told post on Sunday that he has instructed someone from his office to look into the matter.

“I’m currently on leave, I received the letter and we as senior Prosecutors are seized with matter, possibilities are that the matter will be removed from Rusape and be heard somewhere else” he said.

The complainant’s fears are that the accused person’s influence can cause the matter to be handled unfairly.

Rusape has a record which led the JSC to come to a decision that they replace all their staff, after complaints about corruption had reached alarming levels