Kwekwe magistrate in hot soup

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Kwekwe resident magistrate Story Rushwambwa (48) and clerk of court Bright Mpiyabo (45) are in soup for abuse of office and are set to appear today at Harare Magistrates courts for bail application on abuse of office charge

Rushambwa and Mpiyabo appeared before Harare Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande yesterday and were not asked to plead.

The state led by George Makonore alleged sometime in September 2018 a white Mercedes Benz was impounded by Kwekwe CID from a business tycoon Sherpard Tundiya.

Tundiya was in possession of stolen property which was believed to have been stolen in South Africa and smuggled into Zimbabwe.

The car was handed over to ZIMRA pending finalisation of investigations by the South African Police Service and settling of duty terms of the Custom and Excise Act.

Tundiya was not patient enough, he then made application seeking the release of the car which Rushambwa could not hesitate to release it to Tundiya through a court oder which was preducial to ZIMRA and other respondents cited in the application.

Resultedly, the car can no longer be located yet it is required for exhibit and it remains stolen property.

Kwekwe magistrate is also alleged to have facilitated another stolen car case.

In October 2019, a Toyota Hilux was impounded from John Mapurazi after it was fraudulently imported into the country and handed over to ZIMRA for custom management and trial in Bulawayo.

It is alleged that the magistrate then connived the release of the vehicle and Mpiyabo held on to the record on the 31st of December upon the arrival of Rushambwa who was on leave.

Rushambwa precised the matter with the applicant Mapurazi represented by Tundiya who is not a legal practitioner and granted the release of the car.

The vehicle remains an exhibit criminal case in Bulawayo but can no longer be located.

This serves to reveal that the two showed favour to the applicants which is contrary to their duties as officers of the court.

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