Rusape court of­fi­cials jailed

The Manica Post - - Local News - Sa­muel Kadun­gure Court Reporter

TWO ju­nior court of­fi­cials based at Rusape Mag­is­trates’ Court — Oliver Gabriel (48) and Mer­lin Mugejo (31) — were last week con­victed by Mutare pro­vin­cial mag­is­trate Mr Tendai Mahwe and jailed for 24 months.

The two, who are locked up at Mutare Re­mand Prison, duped rel­a­tives of an ac­cused per­son of money and goods af­ter ly­ing that they could re­lease the in­car­cer­ated from re­mand.

Gabriel, a Clerk of Court, and Mugejo, a gen­eral hand, were rep­re­sented by Rusape lawyer Mr Leonard Chi­gadza of Chi­gadza & As­so­ciates Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers and were deny­ing the al­le­ga­tions.

Mr Brian Goto pros­e­cuted and se­cured their con­vic­tion af­ter prov­ing be­yond any rea­son­able doubt that the two con­victs de­manded and re­ceived $420, 10 bags of maize and two broiler chick­ens from Getrude Sakala af­ter pledg­ing to fa­cil­i­tate the re­lease of her son, Joseph Ka­mushinda, who was in cus­tody fac­ing rape charges.

Ka­mushinda was ar­rested on April 20, 2014 on rape charges and was taken to court af­ter 48 hours and was re­manded in cus­tody.

Some­time in April 2014, Sakala, Joyce Ka­mushinda and Fu­ture Musindo were walk­ing in the cor­ri­dors at Rusape Mag­is­trates’ Court chat­ting to a lawyer seek­ing le­gal ser­vices when Mugejo sum­moned them to her of­fice.

Mugejo took the three out of the court build­ing to lis­ten to their prob­lem and ad­vised them to stop en­gag­ing a lawyer, but to seek as­sis­tance from James Wir­ima, then a pros­e­cu­tor who was han­dling the case.

Mugejo de­manded and re­ceived a con­sul­ta­tion fee of $20 from Sakala.

Musindo and Joyce wit­nessed the trans­ac­tion.

“Mugejo left in­di­cat­ing that she would take the money to Mr Wir­ima. She re­turned and in­formed the three that the pros­e­cu­tor wanted $6 000 and gave the trio a three-day dead­line,” said Mr Goto.

The three sold their to­bacco and raised $300 and gave it to Mugejo in the pres­ence of Gabriel, who was tasked to count the money.

Mr Goto said Gabriel left the of­fice en route to Wir­ima’s of­fice and re­turned claim­ing that he had ac­cepted the money, but wanted an ad­di­tional $100 to fi­nalise the case.

“The three sold their maize and pro­ceeded to Mugejo’s house where they gave her the $100. They also took 10 bags of maize and two broiler chick­ens to her house to set­tle the bal­ance.” How­ever, Sakala later learnt that the two con­victs had de­ceived them when po­lice came to her home­stead look­ing for Joseph who had been re­leased from cus­tody.

Joseph was wanted in con­nec­tion with the same case.

Sakala was de­prived of money and goods worth $832 and noth­ing was re­cov­ered.

Mr Chi­gadza said he would ap­peal against both con­vic­tion and sen­tence.

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