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Mafume seeks recusal of magistrate

by Staff reporter
26 Oct 2021 at 06:37hrs | Views
SUSPENDED Harare mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday applied for recusal of the magistrate presiding over his charges of allegedly defeating the course of justice after interfering with a key witness, saying he will not be subjected to a fair hearing.

Mafume, through lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, wants regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna to recuse himself from the case, saying he once made a factual finding when he refused to grant him bail on his initial appearance on the same charges.

Having made that factual finding, Mr Nduna should not preside over the trial on the same charge, argued Mafume.

The State is expected to reply to the application tomorrow.

Mafume is charged with defeating the course of justice after he attempted to bribe a witness who was scheduled to testify in another case where he is charged with criminal abuse of office.

In March last year, Mafume allegedly called housing director Addmore Nhekairo, asking him to allocate residential stands to his sister Rotina Mafume and the secretary at his law firm, Rutendo Muvuti.

Mafume allegedly told Nhekairo that his sister had not benefited from any council stand, but the court heard that when Mafume approached Nhekairo, council had closed interviews for prospective home-seekers.

Further allegations are that Mafume used his influence as a councillor to push other employees to allocate the stands.

According to the State, it was later discovered that Rotina and Rutendo were not on the waiting list despite each having been allocated stands with intrinsic value of $219 938 and that the numbers on the waiting list used for them belonged to other people.

Mafume was then granted $30 000 bail at the High Court.

It was during the period he was on bail that he allegedly attempted to bribe a witness in the matter, Mr Edgar Dzehonye, so that he would testify in his favour. He was arrested for defeating the course of justice on December 14 last year and was taken to the Harare Magistrates' Court where he was denied bail.

Mafume then approached the High Court appealing against the lower court's decision to deny him bail, where he was then granted $40 000 bail.

Source - The Herald
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