By Daniel Nemukuyu
Head of the Marriages Department at the Registrar-General’s Office in Harare, Gordon Tsuro, is walking scot-free, spending hours in Government offices despite the dismissal of his appeal against a three-year prison term six years ago.
Tsuro (48) was on June 26, 2012 convicted of seriously injuring his wife, Ms Rosemary Charlie, after striking her with an axe in a domestic dispute.
He was initially charged with attempted murder, but the then Harare regional magistrate Mr William Bhila found him guilty of assault.
On the same date, Tsuro’s lawyers — Mupindu and Mugiya — filed a notice of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court.
On the strength of the notice of appeal, Tsuro successfully applied for bail.
Tsuro and his lawyers did not prosecute the appeal, resulting in the Registrar of the High Court throwing it away on May 15, 2013.
In terms of the law, such a dismissal of the appeal must be followed with the issuance of a warrant of arrest to apprehend the convict and commit him to prison.
Mupindu & Mugiya wrote to the Registrar seeking reinstatement of the appeal, but the Registrar advised them to file a court application.
However, Mupindu & Mugiya renounced agency before a new law firm by the name Mugiya & Macharaga assumed agency.
Court record 580/12 does not show any application for reinstatement, neither does it show the acquittal of the Government official.
Contrary to the findings, on September 13 2019, Harare lawyer Mr Norman Mugiya of Mugiya & Macharaga claimed his client was acquitted by the High Court, but could not state the date, judge or prosecutor who handled the case.
“It’s an old case and I think my client has since been acquitted. I am not sure of the judge and prosecutor who were involved. I will check the case number for you,” he said.
Since September 13, efforts to get further details from Mr Mugiya have been fruitless.
Officials at the High Court and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) head office said they were only aware of Appeal Case Number 580/12 that was dismissed for non-compliance with the rules.
The Herald is reliably informed that on October 24 this year, the Registrar of the High Court Mr Donald Ndirowei sent a copy of the High Court record to the Harare Magistrates’ Courts to enable the lower court to issue a warrant of arrest against Tsuro, which was eventually issued.
The Herald also established that the magistrate’s court record did not show any sign of acquittal or reinstatement of the appeal.
A perusal of the court record shows that State papers prepared at Zengeza Police Station, did not state that Tsuro was a senior Government official.
Mupindu & Mugiya renounced agency on March 27 2013.
“Take notice that Messrs Mupindu & Mugiya Law Chambers hereby renounce agency on behalf of the appellant. Further take notice that the appellant’s last known address is Number 90025 Kayila Kraal, Unit J, Seke,” reads the notice.
During trial, the court heard that the couple had a misunderstanding over residential stand documents and the argument resulted in the confrontation which nearly turned fatal.
On the evening in question, Tsuro retired to bed after supper. At around 2040hrs, Charlie followed and found him still awake.
Tsuro requested Charlie to give him documents for her residential stand, where construction was underway. But Charlie is said to have told Tsuro that it was at her workplace and Tsuro insisted he wanted it immediately.
Tsuro was infuriated and drew an axe from underneath the bed and ordered Charlie to sit down. Charlie complied and Tsuro lifted the axe intending to strike her on the head, but she blocked the axe with her palms and was struck in the palms.
Tsuro used the axe to strike Charlie once on the head and on her legs several times. He later used the axe handle to hit her all over the body, resulting in her sustaining a fractured arm.
Charlie was reportedly rescued by her landlord Edward Gwekwete who took her to the hospital. The Herald