By Zvamaida Murwira
The Special Anti-Corruption Unit has asked the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to investigate circumstances surrounding the release on bail of the head of marriages at the Registrar General’s office, Gordon Tsuro, after his appeal was reinstated, suggesting that the prosecutor might have acted improperly in consenting to the reinstatement and granting of bail.
Head of SACU, Mr Thabani Mpofu, wrote to ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo to look into how an officer in the National Prosecution Authority (NPA)consented to the reinstatement of Mr Tsuro’s appeal and release on bail after the appeal had been struck off the roll because Tsuro missed deadlines to pursue his appeal.
The Herald exposed the irregularity last year after Mr Tsuro, who was sentenced to three years in jail in 2012 for attacking his wife with an axe, had his appeal dismissed by the High Court in 2013 after he failed to pursue the matter.
After the dismissal of the appeal, he was supposed to be sent back to the magistrates court to be committed to prison to serve his sentence, but he continued enjoying his freedom for six years with some thinking he had been acquitted by the High Court.
He was only arrested and committed to prison at the end of last year after The Herald exposed the anomaly.
Mr Mpofu confirmed that he had written a letter to ZACC after the case was brought to his attention. “We received a complaint pertaining to Tsuro’s case and after examining the complaint we referred the issue to the relevant State institution for further interrogation,” said Mr Mpofu.
In his letter to ZACC, Mr Mpofu said upon examining records at the High Court, they noted that The Herald stories were vindicated.
“High Court records which are attached hereto vindicate The Herald articles referred to above. Justice Phiri of the High Court sitting in Chambers on December 27 reinstated Tsuro’s appeal which had been dismissed in 2013. Justice (Tawanda) Chitapi then granted bail to Tsuro on January 10, 2020,” said Mr Mpofu.
He said the handling of the matter by the prosecutor after the incarceration of Tsuro in November 2019 raises well grounded suspicions of corruption .
Investigations by The Herald revealed that Tsuro briefly showed up at work upon his release this year and went into his office, much to the surprise of his colleagues who thought he was serving jail time.
Authorities at the RG’s office, through the Department, immediately suspended Tsuro to allow them to have an appreciation of his case after they read in The Herald that he had been committed to prison to serve his three-year-jail term.
Tsuro (49) was on June 26, 2012, convicted of seriously injuring his wife, Ms Rosemary Charlie, after striking her with an axe during a domestic dispute.
He was initially charged with attempted murder, but then Harare regional magistrate Mr William Bhila found him guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
On the same date, Tsuro’s lawyers, Mupindu & Mugiya, filed a notice of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court, but this was not pursued.
In terms of the law, such a dismissal of the appeal must be followed by the issuance of a warrant of arrest to apprehend the convict and commit him to prison.The Herald