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    Friday, 11 March 2016

    Beitbridge Magistrate recuses self from prosecutor case





    Beitbridge Bureau

    Beitbridge
    - Beitbridge magistrate Innocent Bepura has recused himself from a civil matter involving suspended area prosecutor Muchihwande Sithole saying it was in the interests of justice that another court handles the case.
    Sithole approached the court seeking a spoliation order that his vehicle, a Toyota Surf, held as an exhibit by Police be returned to him.
    In a brief ruling, Bepura said the applicant was a workmate and the respondents were close people and therefore he could not hear the case.
    "This makes the matter difficult to handle due to the aforementioned relationships. This I believe will compromise impartiality and fairness which is the cornerstone of justice delivery system," said Bepura in his recusal.
    He said it was in the interest of justice that another court hears the application.
    In the application number 64/16 of the Beitbridge Magistrate's Court Civil Division, filed by his lawyer Patrick Tererai of Tererai Legal Practice, Sithole said Police who seized his car were devoid of a search warrant.
    He queried why Police had not arrested him but seized his vehicle some five weeks after the alleged crime.
    Sithole cited first and second respondents as the officer in charge of Beitbridge Urban Police Inspector Godwin Mutanga and officer commanding Beitbridge District Police Patrick Majuta respectively, as first and second respondent respectively.
    In notices of opposition Mutanga and Majuta have said an assault matter under CR/22/ 09/15 in which applicant is an accused person was reported at Beitbridge and the vehicle in question was being held as an exhibit.
    The car was seized after the applicant Sithole became elusive after the courts had directed that the car be seized, said Mutanga and Majuta. Delays in the seizure of the car, Mutanga and Majuta said, were because Sithole was evasive and when the car was finally intercepted, it was being driven by another man.
    "This matter has been delayed after it was transferred from Gwanda to Bulawayo and back and now it has been transferred to Harare and the court has now directed that the car be taken as an exhibit," said the senior offices.local news
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