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Hodzi initiates process for Mutangadura sacking after lawyer fights transfer

by ZimLive
15 Feb 2019 at 08:34hrs | Views
Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi has initiated a process that could get Chief Law Officer Chris Mutangadura sacked after the lawyer challenged his transfer to Guruve, a rural outpost in Mashonaland Central.

Hodzi, recently confirmed in the job by President Emmerson Mnangagwa despite flunking public interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission, told Mutangadura he was transferring him to Guruve with immediate effect on February 7, offering no reasons.

Mutangadura went to court challenging the transfer, accusing Hodzi of usurping the powers of the National Prosecuting Authority Board in violation of the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

"District stations like the one in Guruve are manned by law officers and at times senior law officers. They can never be manned by chief law officers. In that respect, the unilateral decision by the first defendant (Hodzi) to reassign me to Guruve is ultra vires section 6(1)(b) of the NPA Act," Mutangadura argues in a court filing.

But before that is determined, Hodzi has initiated a new process which could result in Mutangadura being sacked.

In a letter to Colonel Solomon Siziba, the NPA administrator seconded by the military, Hodzi implores Siziba to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mutangadura in the matter of a compliant filed by RAM Petroleum.

"I am of the view that the allegations made against our officer are serious and have potential to put the NPA into disrepute. Additionally, and worringly so, the allegations made against our Mutangadura border on criminality," Hodzi says in the letter, dated February 12.

He called on Siziba to suspend Mutangadura "immediately" to pave way for an investigation into his conduct.

It is not clear when RAM Petroleum made the complaint, which is believed to relate to how the NPA handled the matter of their former employee Kudakwashe Unity Mhike, who was arrested for stealing US$8,000 from the company.

Mutangadura, it was alleged, declined prosecution and said the NPA would proceed by way of summons. Mhike subsequently skipped the border to South Africa and is yet to be tried.

Hodzi suffered his first setback on February 13 when Justice Happious Zhou of the Harare High Court ruled that Mutangadura's application for the suspension of the transfer would be dealt with on an urgent basis.

The judge ruled that "if the relief for the suspension of the decision is to be dealt with as an ordinary court application after the applicant has already relocated to Guruve, the relief sought would become academic, there would be nothing to suspend if the decision has already taken effect."

Source - ZimLive