OWEN MATAVA in Kwekwe
© Kwekwe magistrate Story Rushambwa who was arrested together with clerk of court Bright Mpiyabo on the 17th of January this year on allegations of abuse of office among other charges has been dismissed from work following a disciplinary hearing which found him guilty and recommended for his dismissal, midlands news has gathered.
Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi confirmed to midlands news that indeed Rushambwa has been relieved of his duties without further elaborating the circumstances that led to his dismissal.
“Yes i can confirm that the magistrate you were talking about is longer with the JSC. A criminal case is also still pending before the courts”, said Mutevedzi.
However, midlands news has established that on the 1st of June, 2020, Rushambwa and Mpiyabo appeared before the Mungwari chaired disciplinary committee at the Kwekwe Magistrate Courts.
The duo were being charged for an act of misconduct.
Rushambwa was early this year suspended from work pending investigations after he was arrested together with Mpiyabo on allegations of illegally facilitating the release of a stolen vehicle to controversial businessman Shepherd Tundiya.
Rushambwa (48) and Mpiyabo (45), were being charged with criminal abuse of office and appeared before Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo.
The duo applied for bail and are out of custody on $2 000 bail each.
According to court papers, sometime in September 2018 a Mercedes Benz vehicle was impounded from Tundiya by CID Kwekwe as it was suspected to have been stolen from South Africa.
The vehicle was then handed over to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for further management. It was then held pending finalisation of investigations by South African Police Service and possible settling of duty in terms of the Customs and Excise Act.
It is the State’s case that on December 9 last year, Tundiya made an ex parte application seeking the release of the motor vehicle and on the same day Rushambwa presided over the matter. He granted an
order that the vehicle be released unconditionally to Tundiya.
It is alleged the order issued by Rushambwa was prejudicial to ZIMRA.
The State alleges the whereabouts of the vehicle are no longer known.
It is also alleged that sometime in October last year, a Toyota Hilux vehicle was impounded by the police anti-corruption unit from John Mapurazi a local miner.
The vehicle was taken as an exhibit in a case of fraud in Bulawayo after it was fraudulently imported into the country.
The State alleges the vehicle was then handed over to ZIMRA for customs management and finalisation of trial. It is alleged on December 27 last year, Mapurazi made an ex parte application seeking the release of the vehicle.
It is alleged Rushambwa then hatched a plan to order the release of the motor vehicle to Mapurazi. He allegedly in connivance with Mpiyabo withheld the record until Rushambwa who was on leave arrived at court to deal with the application.
The State alleges Mpiyabo then placed the record before Rushambwa well knowing he was on leave. Rushambwa, however, presided over the application in the absence of Mapurazi who was now being represented by Tundiya who is not a lawyer. The magistrate went on to grant the order for the release of the motor vehicle to Mapurazi.
The vehicle can no longer be accounted for while Tundiya is still to face the law over the same matter.