Mag­is­trate jails de­tec­tive, faces ar­rest

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Richard Muponde

ESIGODINI mag­is­trate Mr Lungile Ncube is fac­ing ar­rest for al­legedly il­le­gally in­car­cer­at­ing a de­tec­tive.

The cop had come to court to ask for ex­tended time to pay a fine for as­sault­ing a sus­pect.

Leeroy Mahunje, the de­tec­tive, re­ported the case of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice against Mr Ncube at Gwanda po­lice sta­tion CR num­ber 57/09/16.

He wants the mag­is­trate to be tried for il­le­gally send­ing him to prison for six days, two days be­fore the dead­line to pay his fine had elapsed.

The de­tec­tive ar­gues that he was not in de­fault of pay­ment.

Det Mahunje has also lodged a com­plaint with the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion against Mr Ncube’s con­duct.

In his let­ter to the JSC he said he and two other de­tec­tives whom he did not name were charged with as­sault­ing a sus­pect who had bro­ken into a house in Gwanda.

Mr Ncube fined each of them $600 or six months in prison af­ter a full trial. Det Mahunje paid $100 on June 29. “I then ap­plied for an ex­ten­sion up to Au­gust 31 to pay. My time sheet was duly en­dorsed by the res­i­dent mag­is­trate, Mr Lungile Ncube,” wrote Det Mahunje.

“On July 29 I pro­ceeded to Esigodini Mag­is­trates’ Courts to pay $100, which amount was duly re­ceipted un­der re­ceipt num­ber 333640. I ap­plied for fur­ther time to pay. It will be noted that the date I had been given for full pay­ment was July 31, 2016, which date fell on a Sun­day.

“The court does not sit on a Sun­day and banks’ max­i­mum with­drawal limit is $100.”

He said Mr Ncube in­quired from him why he had not paid and he ex­plained the rea­sons but the mag­is­trate was not amused.

“He de­cided that I should serve the al­ter­na­tive sen­tence and thus com­mit­ted me to prison, two days be­fore the due date he had ex­tended to me,” said the de­tec­tive. “Ac­cord­ingly, when I was jailed I had two days to look for the full amount and pay it to the court. I was in prison for five days,” he wrote.

“Mean­while, on July 30, 2016, my rel­a­tives had raised the full amount ($400) that was out­stand­ing but could not pay it at court as I had al­ready been jailed.”

Det Mahunje said when Mr Ncube jailed him he was fully aware of the fact that he and his co-ac­cused had noted an ap­peal against con­vic­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court un­der cover HCA76-9/16.

He said he was even­tu­ally re­leased on bail pend­ing ap­peal de­spite the fact the ap­peal was lodged be­fore his in­car­cer­a­tion.— @richardmuponde

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