Zimbabwe: Magistrate Takes Presidential Special Prosecuting Unit to Task Over Corruption Cases

16 July 2019

Harare Magistrate Nyasha Vitorini yesterday accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Special Prosecuting Unit for not taking corruption cases in the courts seriously.

The Special Prosecuting Unit was put in place by President Mnangagwa to improve efficiency in the fight against all forms of graft and to strengthen the effectiveness of national mechanisms in the prevention of corruption.

Vitorini told one of the prosecutors, Michael Chakandida after he had applied for a postponement of former NSSA boss Elizabeth Chitiga's corruption matter, that he is not amused about the matter the unit is handling corruption cases which are often delayed.

"Are you serious about dealing with this case?" Asked magistrate Vitorini.

"I do not understand, there is enthusiasm when you talk of ending corruption but on the ground you are doing nothing.

"Go and discuss this with whoever is allocating you here that I am not pleased at all. I am a busy man and I had reserved this diary but to come here and only be told you need to move the trial," said Vitorini.

Chitiga's case is being handled by Prosecutor Clemence Chimbare who set the trial for yesterday the 15th of July but failed to show up sending Chakandida instead.

Chakandida however decided to have the matter postponed to 18 July for trial.

After being asked if he was in agreement with the proposed date, Chitiga's lawyer Jonathan Samukange said he was prepared for trial but had no option than to agree.

"We have no option your Worship.I came here ready but only to find out when I got here that the prosecutor is not available without communicating," said Samukange.

This triggered magistrate Vitorini who was already fuming about the prosecutor's lack of seriousness.

"I am a very busy man I cannot be called here to do nothing and waste government's resources.

"Do not change prosecutors like you want and disturb our work here, I have a lot of work to do and be serious about these corruption cases," he said.

The matter was however rolled over to 18 July for trial.

corruption casesElizabeth ChitigaNyashaPresIdent EDVitorini

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