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Mamombe, Chimbiri attempt to block exhibits

by Staff reporter
01 Apr 2022 at 08:06hrs | Views
CCC members, Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri yesterday mounted another bid to block the State from tendering documentary exhibits, described by the State as critical, into the court's record after they staged another objection through their lawyers.

Mamombe and Chimbiri made the objection after the State applied to tender the exhibit documents through its witness. The documents list base stations related to the call logs, pictures of sites, their estimated coverages and call data records extracted from Econet.

According to the State, the exhibits show that Mamombe and Chimbiri's cellphones were in Harare at a time they claim to have been abducted sometime in May 2020.

A fortnight ago, the two opposition members objected to the State's attempt to tender the documents citing procedural irregularities.

Chief Magistrate Mrs Faith Mushure agreed with them and dismissed the State's application.

The State then applied for recalling of its witness, Engineer Christopher Tapera Kazembe, to afford it another chance to tender the documents through the witness.

Again, Mamombe and Chimbiri, through their lawyers Mr Alec Muchadehama and Mr Jeremiah Bamu, opposed to have the witness recalled.

However, Mrs Mushure allowed the State to recall its witness and restricted it to tendering of the documents.

In objecting to tendering the documents, Mr Muchadehama argued that it was not automatic that once the court allows the State to recall its witness, the documents will then easily find their way into the record.

"We are objected to tendering of the documents. It is not automatic that once the witness was recalled and they get admitted. On March 24, you refused the State application for want of procedure.

"First reason for our objection is on who is producing the annexures. Is it (Engineer Tapera Christopher) Kazembe, who is a spectrum manager at POTRAZ (Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe)," he said.

Mr Muchadehama said allowing the State to tender the documents was equal to Eng Kazembe tendering his warned and cautioned statement recorded at the police.

"In other words what the witness is simply doing is to produce his statement as evidence. These documents are annexures to his statement," he said.

Mr Muchadehama argued that the documents were supposed to be produced through a witness from Econet not through Eng Kazembe.

"They are not documents from POTRAZ. They are not for public consumption. The documents are an interpretation of call data records from Econet. They should come from Econet and people from Econet should interpret the documents,"  he said.

In his response, Mr Reza, said it was proper to tender the documents through Eng Kazembe since he was the one who prepared them.

He said his application was within the confines of the law.

"He is a qualified engineer who is also experienced. There is no need to belittle or embarrass him. The law says the documents can be produced through the person who made them and he is the one who made them.

"Mr Muchadehama has conceded that they were made by the witness. The witness said the information was given by police and the reason was exclusively for these court proceedings," he said.

Mr Reza said the documents were for assisting the court to come up with an informed decision.

"He cannot say it is not for public consumption. These will assist court at arriving at a just ruling. They cannot tell the court what documents to use and what not to use. Here are documents prepared by this man and would like them produced. Why are they trying to make decisions for the court," he said.

Mr Reza said a witness from Econet will be called to testify on documentary evidence produced through an appropriate witness.

The court is expected to make a ruling on Mamombe and Chimbiri's objection on Monday.

Source - The Herald