Thursday, 19 May 2022

MAMOMBE FAILS TO BLOCK STATE WITNESS IN ABDUCTION TRIAL

CHIEF magistrate Mrs Faith Mushure yesterday allowed a crucial State witness from Econet Zimbabwe to testify in the ongoing trial of CCC members, Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri, on charges of faking their abductions in May 2020, on condition that prosecutors furnish the two with the witness’ police warned and cautioned statement before he gives evidence in court.

Mrs Mushure made the ruling after Mamombe and Chimbiri on Tuesday mounted a bid to block a crucial State witness from Econet Zimbabwe, Mr Godfrey Mangezi, from giving evidence saying they were not furnished with his warned and cautioned statement before the trial started.

The State led by Mr Michael Reza had called Mr Mangezi to give evidence on call history and data usage on numbers believed to belong to the two CCC members.

After Mrs Mushure’s ruling, Mr Reza then applied for postponement of the matter to May 23 to allow him to furnish the duo’s lawyers with the statement.

Mr Reza also said that he also wanted to furnish the two with another witness’ statement which he had not served them with.

Mamombe and Chimbiri, through lawyers Mr Alec Muchadehama and Mr Jeremiah Bamu, had sought to bar Mr Mangezi from giving evidence.

The lawyers said: “When the matter was about to be set down we were favoured with papers amongst them were witness statements. We were not given a statement from the witness the State intends to call.

“As a result we did not know he will be called as a witness. We were given a letter that the witness wrote after being asked certain questions by police. There is no proper statement recorded from this witness, which put us in an awkward position”.

Responding to Mr Muchadehama’s application, Mr Reza told the court that Mamombe and Chimbiri were aware that Mr Mangezi will give evidence from as far back as July 28, 2020.

“On exhibit A1 entry No.7 is a document that was submitted to defence and signed by Mr Bamu on July 28, 2020.

“It says Econet wireless response. It is the document that was prepared by the witness Mr Mangezi and it states the number of warrant of search and seizure.

“That warrant of search and seizure asked Mr Mangezi to provide subscriber details for 0773 519914, 07790140370, 0777570826.

“The information which was required was for Econet to provide subscriber details, registered owners as per EcoCash, and call history from May 1 to May 20, 2020.

“The defence was fully aware that Mr Mangezi was coming to testify on registered owners and data usage in respect of those numbers. He will also testify on call history of those numbers and those are the three areas of interest to the State,” he said.

Mr Reza told the court that Mr Mangezi would not give evidence that is not contained in the letter he prepared. He also told the court that the State had furnished the CCC members with a print-out of the date and call registers.

“He is not going to testify on anything other than that. Defence was fully aware of the letter. It is not, therefore, correct that they were not fully aware of what that man wanted to talk about. We supplied them with registered owners’ documents, data usages form print-out, and call history in respect of the two numbers,” Mr Reza said. Herald

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