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Police stake out judge over controversial bail ruling



THE Zimbabwe Republic Police on Wednesday visited the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) head office at Causeway Building in Harare inquiring about the whereabouts of High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero, following his decision to grant bail to suspected serial armed robber Musa Taju Abdul.


The granting of ZW$5 000 bail to Abdul — who had been on the police wanted list for 20 years and was arrested after a shootout with the police in August — has already resulted in the arrest of prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema, who had consented to the granting of bail.

Officials at the JSC referred the police to Judge President George Chiweshe, whose office is at the High Court and who supervises judges.

There have been calls within the government for the judge to be taken to task over the decision, The NewsHawks has been informed.

“There is concern that the judge might also be liable, and that he should also be questioned on what informed his ruling,” a government source told The NewsHawks.
National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi failed to shed light on the visit, saying he was not aware of it.
“I am not aware of that visit. I have also checked with the relevant department and they said we are not aware of insinuations that police visited the honourable justice,” Nyathi said.

However, the police re-arrested Abdul on Tuesday, hours after he had been granted bail by Justice Chikowero.

Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi suspended Kasema, who appeared in court yesterday. The prosecutor has been previously arrested for facilitating the release of the passport of ex-minister Ignatius Chombo’s who faced corruption charges.

The passport was later confiscated again. Abdul was yesterday charged with three fresh robbery cases with eight other alleged accomplices. Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti remanded him in custody to 30 December 2020. He has been linked to 53 cases.

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