Law officer Kasema files against prosecution
By Nyore Madzianike
Prosecutor, Tapiwa Kasema, has filed an application challenging his prosecution on allegations of improperly consenting to bail for suspected armed robbers, Musa Taj Abdul and his suspected gang members saying proceedings against him amount to abuse of authority by the Prosecutor General (PG).
Kasema argues that the Prosecutor General’s decision to prosecute him on allegations stemming from an internal correspondence is tantamount to criminalising internal operations systems.
He also argues that his prosecution for the criminal abuse of office as a public officer is an unwarranted and deliberate attempt by the PG to interfere with his right to prosecute on behalf of the State and discharge his lawful duties as a National Prosecuting Authority officer.
Through lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya, Kasema raised the arguments in his application for exception to the criminal abuse of office charges he is facing at the Harare Magistrates Court.
“The accused asserts that the charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer under the circumstances in which there has been an extant order of court granting applicants bail in which Prosecutor General has failed to upset those extant court orders, is an abuse of authority on the part of Prosecutor General and those involved in making the decision.
“It also sends a chilling effect on this court because all judgments that the PG and the powers that be will disagree with will then become the subject of criminal prosecutions against judges of the superior courts, magistrates of this court, the prosecutors who appear before them an legal practitioners who defend clients,” he said in his application.
Kasema also argues that prosecuting him amounts to reviewing how bail proceedings are conducted at the High Court.
He said the High Court proceedings where he consented to bail to the suspected armed robbers had not been set aside and the judge’s decision was still existing.
“What is, however, clear is that these criminal proceedings are in effect meant to review the conduct of criminal bail proceedings before the High Court and or conduct of the accused as an officer of court in the course of executing his duties as a prosecutor.
“The State wants the court to make a finding that those proceedings were a farce because they were based upon a consent to bail proffered by the accused without following an internal memo written by one Michael Mugabe.
Kasema said taken at its highest, a violation of an internal memo would result in disciplinary proceedings not criminal prosecution.
“The Prosecutor General and other senior officers in the NPA ought to be reminded that their internal memos remain internal, they are not the law and that fact that they have prosecutorial powers does not give them unfettered power to prosecute their subordinates for not following their internal instruction through criminal justice system,” he said.
The State is expected to file its response on July 2 with regional magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro expected to make a ruling on July 7. The Herald