BY CHARLES LAITON

FORMER chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe’s trial on charges of criminal abuse of office and defeating the course of justice was yesterday postponed to November 3, 2020 after the State’s two key witnesses failed to turn up to give evidence.

The State was expected to hear evidence from former regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya and deputy chief magistrate Elijah Makomo, but both failed to turn up. Makomo was said to be seeking treatment in South Africa, while Mujaya was said to be in Rusape.

Guvamombe has since denied the charges and accused his former workmates of blackmailing him after he exposed them for sexually harassing female workmates.

In one of the counts, Guvamombe is accused of allowing former Cabinet ministers Supa Mandiwanzira and Saviour Kasukuwere to be attached at the Harare Magistrates Court from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) while facing criminal charges.

In his defence, Guvamombe told the court that his actions were above board since he delegated the issue of the students’ attachment to Makomo, his deputy, who then forwarded the matter to the human resources department for actioning.

Last week, Judicial Service Commission secretary Walter Chikwanha absolved Guvamombe of any wrongdoing, saying the commission did not have a clear policy or guidelines on how to handle the issue of student attache’s.

In another charge, Guvamombe is accused of having forced Makomo to recuse himself in a matter involving Harare businessman Nathan Mnaba following complaints of bribery. But Guvamombe dismissed the assertions, saying Makomo voluntarily recused himself from the matter after realising that there were serious allegations being levelled against him.

He is being represented by Jonathan Samukange and Brighton Pabwe.

Justice Felistas Chatukuta is presiding over the matter.