CHOMBO CHARGES WITHDRAWN
The State yesterday withdrew charges against former Minister Ignatius Chombo before plea in the matter he is being charged for criminal nuisance.
Chombo was being charged together with Kudzai Chipanga, Mathew Muleya and Innocent Hamandishe for wearing regalia with President Mnangagwa’s initials after they were expelled from the party in 2017.
The State represented by Malvin Mapako made the application for withdrawal before plea which regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje granted and said the State will proceed by way of summons if they intend to pursue the matter in the future.
Chombo also applied for the cancellation of the warrant of arrest that was issued on Tuesday which the State claimed was willful.
“State submits that the default was willful because they came to court several times seeking release of the passport and the matter was remanded to yesterday and a fine would suffice in the circumstances, the defence must not over emphasize the mix up of dates in the practice direction,” said Mapako.
Tungamirai Muganhiri on behalf of Chombo argued that the State’s position was not coherent as he didn’t give suggestions or cogent reasons why he was saying that the default was wilful.
“The State in an application such as this one must give reasons why the think he defaulted court yesterday, reasons could be avoiding trial or delaying trial which are impossible these matters have been stayed by the Supreme Court, he came to court the very next day because there are no pending court processes.
“They said that there should not be over emphasis on the practice direction showing that he is aware that there has been confusion with regards to the dates, this shows that the prosecutor himself doesn’t fully believe that the default was wilful.
“He was granted his passport and returned it after leaving the country so if he wanted to flee he would have done so,” said Muganhiri.
In his ruling, magistrate Mambanje said the courts should not be heavy handed on accused persons especially in the use of practice directions that have proven to be confusing at times.
“Accused person defaulted court on 31 August, this date came about from practice direction and it should be noted that remands were made and done during practice direction to make sure that the records don’t fall out of line.
“Laymen seem to fail to comprehend the and this court shouldn’t be heavy handed to accused persons especially to those who come at the next possible date, the court shouldn’t be hard on them and they should be commended.
“The court believed that they deserve a benefit of doubt and the state is on record giving benefit of the doubt for example Mavis Madzivanzira defaulted court on 27 August and came to court and the matter was dealt with immediately before Chombo and the state gave Madzivanzira benefit of the doubt and the difference of the treatment hasn’t been explained and justified why the state hasn’t allowed Chombo the same gratuity yet he came immediately.
“The warrant is hereby cancelled and the court finds no wilful default,” said Mambanje.
In other news,
MISSING GIRL DRUGGED, RAPED
A 13-year-old Warren Park girl who went missing last week was found drugged and gang-raped by two men in Kuwadzana.
The girl was found by her siblings after six days on Saturday at a house in Kuwadzana 2 where she was allegedly being injected with a drug and raped on several occasions…Full Story