By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Harare Regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna has denied bail to incarcerated Public Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema who consented to the granting of bail to Musa Taj Abdul (46), a serial armed robber who was arrested in August and who had been on the police wanted list for 20 years.
Kasema was arrested last week after Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi suspended him over allegations that he had corruptly consented to bail granted to Taj Abdul by the High Court.
The suspected armed robber and gang leader was granted Z$5000 bail by Justice Benjamin Chikowero along with co-accused Godfrey Mupamhanga (27), Rudolf Tapiwa Kanhanga (29) and Douglas Mutenda (31), but they will remain in custody as the four are facing fresh charges.
The State and investigating officer Collious Mushambi had opposed bail arguing that Kasema would abscond before finalisation of his case.
Through his lawyer, Steady Kachere, Kasema who has been practicing as a prosecutor for 20 years said he was not a flight risk since his passport had expired.
In his ruling, the magistrate noted that there was reasonable suspicion that bail consent by Kasema in the case of Taj Abdul “was corruptly tendered.”
Nduna also agreed with the investigating officer and the State that Kasema had attempted to run away when he realised that the case was in the spotlight.
“He was not at work when he was supposed to be, yet he was not on leave.
“His phone was off.
“There is reasonable suspicion that the accused did take a flight when he realised that the crime was being pursued by police. One does not need a passport to jump the country’s border.
“A compelling reason has been established and bail must be denied,” magistrate Nduna ruled.
Meanwhile, Kasema has been remanded to the 5th of January but his lawyer said he would approach the High Court to challenge denial of bail.
Taj Abdul was arrested by police in Beitbridge on August 24 and he is accused of masterminding high profile robbery cases reminiscent of the Chidhumo-Masendeke robberies which kept the nation spellbound in the 1990s.
He is alleged to have committed 53 armed robberies and several murder cases. It has also been reported that Taj Abdul was arrested after several shootouts with the police.
Before they could post bail money on Tuesday last week, police brought up fresh charges against Abdul and his four accomplices and requested that they remain in custody pending their remand hearing on the new charges and further investigations.
Taj Abdul and his colleagues were remanded to the 30th of December by regional magistrate Judith Taruvinga. Nehanda Radio