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Guvamombe Seeks to Recuse ‘Junior Magistrates’

Suspended Zimbabwe chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe fired shots in court today when he refused to be tried by Zimbabwean magistrates who he said are juniors to him.
Guvamombe, represented by Jonathan Samukange said that any magistrate, serving or retired is junior to him and it is a humiliation to be tried by them.
 Samukange told regional magistrate from Hwange, Collet Ncube who had come today to preside over his trial that he should recuse himself because he is junior to him.
“Guvamombe is the current chief magistrate, he is the boss of all magistrates and he can not be tried by his juniors.
“This situation is like a chief being accused of something but then summoned to appear before a ‘sabhuku’ (headman).
Samukange went on to say that the role of the chief magistrate is to give guidance to other magistrate.

The embattled chief magistrate  said the prosecution is not fair since the state witnesses, regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya and Elijah Makomo are also his juniors, who in his application can not testify against their superior.

He also cited legislator and lawyer Job Sikhala, who was recently recused from representing two other parliamentarians where it was said there will be conflict of interest since the matter was being investigated by the parliament.

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Guvamombe applied that he should be referred to the High court and be tried by a judge.

Zivanai Macharaga from the President Emerson Mnangagwa’s special prosecuting unit opposed the application saying that it lacks merit.

“This is not the first time where a judiciary officer is being accused and prosecuted by a fellow judiciary officers. Justice Benjamini Paradza was once accused and Justice Chinembiri Bhunu refused to try him only because he said they went to the war of liberation struggle together and then another judge, Simson Mutambanengwe presided over the matter,” said Macharaga.

In opposing the application, Macharaga also said that the magistrates will not take personal interests in this matter because they are not the complainants but the state is.

The suspended chief magistrate is being accused of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly offered internship to former Zanu PF Ministers, Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere, who are both studying law at the University of Zimbabwe and are also being tried for different offences within the same courts.

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Journalist based in Harare

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