Suspended Zimbabwe chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe’s bid to be sent to High court for trial hit a brick wall today after Hwange regional magistrate, Collet Ncube trashed his application to recuse magistrates of Zimbabwe, serving or retired to preside over his case.
Regional magistrate Ncube said that his suspended superior’s application lacks merit, improper and went on to set 17 April as the date for trial to kick off.
“Application for recuse must have merits and basis and also it must be considered if the grounds advances on behalf of the applicant,” said Magistrate Ncube.
He also ruled that it is not the court’s purview to decide over other magistrate, whom Guvamombe had said that he wanted them to be recused together with Ncube, the sitting magistrate.
“To grant this application is improper or flaw of the law,” said Mr Ncube in passing his ruling.
Guvamombe, who is being represented by Jonathan Samukange had submitted that all magistrates, serving or retired are junior to him and it is a humiliation to be tried by them.
He had also told magistrate Ncube to recuse himself because he is junior to him and that he and him share some relations, hence fear of lack of impartiality on the trial.
Samukange had argued that Guvamombe is the current chief magistrate, he is the boss of all magistrates and he can not be tried by his juniors.
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.
State Represented by Zivanai Macharaga had opposed the application saying 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.