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Senior magistrate in dock over grocery bribe

by Staff reporter
04 Mar 2024 at 23:58hrs | Views
A SENIOR magistrate stationed at Murehwa Magistrates Court, Terrence Mashaire, who is accused of receiving bribes in the form of groceries and stationary, was yesterday remanded out of custody on US$100 bail by Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei.

Mashaire, who was represented by lawyer Oliver Marwa, will return to court on April 26 for routine remand.

According to court papers, sometime in September 2023, John Mugogo Attorneys filed an ex-parte at Murehwa Magistrates Court to interdict one Harutyanyi from locking two gates he had erected on a public road in Njenje Village, Murehwa.

The matter was filed under case number MRWPCG56/23 and Mashaire was allocated to preside over the matter.

It is alleged that when the matter commenced, the senior magistrate allegedly started interacting with Allen Bhaswi who was one of the parties in the matter he was presiding over. They would call each other before and after court sittings.

Court documents indicate that around December 2023, Mashaire ruled in favour of Bhaswi.

Thereafter the accused person reportedly received a 30 Solo Defy Microwave from Bhaswi as a reward for the assistance he had rendered to him during the court case. The accused allegedly also received groceries and stationery items from Bhaswi.

The matter was taken to the High Court for appeal and Mashaire continued interacting with Bhasvi giving him advice on how to handle the appeal at the High Court.

State alleges that the accused person also received US$450 via Ecocash as a reward from Bhaswi.

In a related matter, an e-filing officer for the Judicial Service Commission's Integrated Electronic Case Management System stationed at the Labour Court, was arraigned before magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa facing a charge of bribery.

Takudzwa Muza (29) who was jointly arrested with Allen Bhaswi (35) was remanded in custody until tomorrow for bail ruling.

The accused persons were represented by Claude Bare.

During the bail application, investigating officer Shelton Chitepo opposed bail citing that there is overwhelming evidence since the bribe money was recovered from the accused.

The investigating officer went further to indicate that there is evidence of conversations between the accused persons which shows how the illicit deals were crafted and two mobile devices can be produced as evidence before the court.

The State opposed bail indicating that the accused are facing serious crimes, therefore, can be at flight risks.

The State alleges that in September 2023, Bhaswi received a judgment in his favour at Murehwa Magistrates Civil Court, and the other party appealed against the judgment at the High Court of Zimbabwe in Harare.

On February 27, Bhaswi went to file his response with the High Court and was attended to by Muza who purportedly promised to assist him to get a favourable outcome as he was close to the judge who was dealing with the matter.

On the same day Muza contacted Bhaswi and advised him to pay US$700 which he said was going to be shared by court officials who were going to deal with his case, including the Judge.

On February 29, Bhaswi gave Muza US$350 as part payment of the US$700.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission then received information about the accused's deeds and arrested them on the same date.

The court heard that US$350 was recovered from Muza and upon being further searched, a CID identity card bearing his name but with a fake national identity number was also discovered.

Source - newsday