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Mamombe, Chimbiri bid to delay trial flops

by Staff reporter
13 Apr 2022 at 06:33hrs | Views
CCC activists, Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri, yesterday lost their bid to have Chief Magistrate, Mrs Faith Mushure, recuse herself from presiding over their case.

The latest ploy has been described by the State as one of the duo's tricks employed to stall progress in the ongoing criminal trial.

Mamombe and Chimbiri had applied for Mrs Mushure's recusal claiming that she has been "progressively and systematically showing bias against them" and describing her as a protagonist in the matter.

The duo is being charged with communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the State after they allegedly faked their abductions sometime in May 2020.

In their application, made through lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, the two claimed that Mrs Mushure dismissed their application for exception and also ruled against them when they requested further particulars relating to the communication they allegedly made.

They also based their application on claims that Mrs Mushure showed bias when she dismissed their application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court.

Mamombe and Chimbiri, in their application for Mrs Mushure's recusal, said the court ruled against them and allowed the State to call back a witness, who was used to tender into the record exhibit documents that they had objected to.

The duo also said that they have filed five applications in the High Court where Mrs Mushure is a respondent rendering her ineligible to continue presiding over their matter.

The State led by Mr Michael Reza opposed the application saying it was not guided by any provisions of the law.

Mr Reza said the two were suing the application as one of their many ways to stall trial progress.

"He (Muchadehama) never stated the law in which he's making the application. Every application must be guided by sections or provisions of a statute. He said he is applying for your recusal based on no law and for no reason at all. However, the reason for this application is to further delay this trial.

"It has happened before and even if this court recuses itself, the next judicial officers would be asked to recuse themselves. They raised a point that the duo's rights are being abused. If there's a person or persons infringing on their rights, it is not this court nor the State, but the accused persons themselves.

"This trial has been fair but has not been speedy and has not been heard in reasonable time because of them. It has been application after application," he said.

Mr Reza told the court that Mamombe and Chimbiri knew very well that their applications lack merit, but they continue making them for purposes of delaying trial proceedings.

He said the court had not shown any bias or interest in the matter, as they claim.

In her ruling, Mrs Mushure said granting applications is based on law and should not be like a duty roster where one expects a ruling in his or her favour the following day because another had been granted the previous day.

She said dismissing Mamombe and Chimbiri's applications was not a reasonable ground for seeking her recusal.

Mrs Mushure said the court once ruled against the State's application for tendering exhibits citing want of procedure in the same trial.

"The court does not see how it is descending into the arena, as they claim. The court has not shown any interest in the matter," she said before dismissing the duo's application.

Mamombe and Chimbiri are expected back in court on Tuesday next week for trial continuation, with two State witnesses expected to testify.

Source - The Herald
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