Home » Judicial » ’No One Is Above the Law’

No one is above the law, so says the old saying. Or is it? Well, the goings on at the Rotten Row Magistrates’ Courts in Harare this year proved that this might be true after all. The mighty and the weak, the haves and have nots, the famous and the unknown appeared before the courts facing various charges as the law took its course and proved that Zimbabwe indeed respects the rule of law after all.

Even the lawyers, who should be the custodians of the law, found themselves in the dock and even in prison for swindling clients of their monies.

Harare lawyer Simbarashe Tsaurai, who stole US$35 000 deposited by clients, was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison.

Harare provincial magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe sentenced Tsaurai to four years and five months before suspending 18 months for five years on condition that he did not commit a similar offence.

Another 18 months were suspended on condition that Tsaurai restituted US$35 000 to the complainants.

Another Harare lawyer, Thomas Sakutukwa, is languishing in prison after he was jailed for two years for fraud involving US$57 350.

Regional magistrate Mr Adonia Masawi convicted Sakutukwa on four counts of theft of trust property.

His law firm has since been de-registered by the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

“There is no harsh sentence than knowing that you can no longer use your professional qualifications again. The devastating economic situation in Zimbabwe is grinding decent and innocent people until they fall into temptation,” said Sakutukwa through his lawyer in mitigation.

Recently MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and his legal partner Joseph Terera were brought before the same courts facing allegations of theft of trust property involving US$15 000.

Their matter is still pending.

Even police officers were not spared which confirms that indeed no one is above the law.

Serving police officers flooded courts facing various charges which include rape, fraud, extortion, criminal abuse of office and armed robbery to name just a few. Some were jailed while some are still on remand awaiting their D-day

Outstanding case of the year was that of RMG Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura, who stole the limelight after he was sentenced to an effective 40-year jail term for raping three women from his church.

Prosecutor Mr Jonathan Murombedzi had urged the court to impose a maximum of 25 years in prison for each count.

Magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya said he could not pass the sentence which was requested by the State because it was beyond his jurisdiction.

Days before Gumbura was jailed, regional magistrate Mr Simon Kachambwa set the tone by sentencing Thomas Chirembwe, a serial rapist and robber, to 290 years behind bars for raping 13 women.

In the arts, some of the names that found themselves in court include sungura maestro Aleck Macheso and Beverly Sibanda or Bev, as she is popularly known.

With the sungura ace, it was a case of “when love turns sour” as he was dragged to court by his estranged wife Tafadzwa Mapako over child maintenance.

There was more drama when Macheso demanded DNA tests to determine paternity of the children.

Alas, the results nailed him. He is the biological father.

Enter raunchy dancer Bevy, well known for her sexually suggestive dances.

On June 4 she was fined US$100 and warned against having physical contact with her fans in future while performing or she will be locked up for two months.

Bev had been arrested for performing erotic dances with fans on stage at Private Lounge Night Club and at Airport Lounge in Harare in violation of her licence.

Another prominent figure who appeared before the same courts was suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings chief executive Happison Muchechetere, who is facing charges of contravening the procurement law.

However, he will have to remain on remand for a while pending determination of his application at the Constitutional Court.

The Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Phillip were also not left out as they found themselves behind bars wearing prison garbs.

They are accused of being the main characters behind the shadowy Facebook blog Baba Jukwa.

Source : The Herald