Be wary of conmen: Judge

judge_09George Maponga in Masvingo
High Court Judge Justice Joseph Musakwa has decried the growing propensity by Zimbabweans to seek instant riches, a situation he said has resulted in many people falling victim to conmen.

Speaking at the official opening of the 2016 High Court Legal year at the Masvingo magistrates court on Monday, Justice Musakwa said police resources were being wasted investigating cases where complainants were partly to blame for their injury.

He said many people fell victim to conmen after getting promises that their monies would “multiply’’.

“It has come to my attention through Press reports that a good number of our citizenry are succumbing to fraudulent stratagems of conmen,” said Justice Musakwa.

“The ruse involves promises of money multiplying upon ‘investing’ with conmen and performing some rituals.

“In some instances victims are shown money that purportedly needs cleaning and being told to provide cash for that purpose, with a promise to share the money that has been cleaned. In other cases, advertisements are flighted offering various services which include restoration of alienated affections.”

Justice Musakwa said many victims of conmen were overwhelmed by a desire to make easy money.

“In all this, victims fail to realise that they are succumbing to greed or are being gullible,” he said. “It is high time people educated themselves against seeking riches at any cost and to question alluring representations.”

Turning to the justice delivery system, Justice Musakwa stressed the need to respect the constitutional rights of accused persons.

He said evidence extracted from accused persons in violation of the Constitution may be rendered inadmissible in court.

“Any evidence that is obtained in violation of the Constitution and may result in an unfair trial or is detrimental to the administration of justice or the public interest will be rendered inadmissible during a trial,” said Justice Musakwa.

“Therefore, investigators of crime must ensure that they observe the relevant constitutional provisions.”

Justice Musakwa expressed concern that some guilty suspects walked away free while innocent people were nailed due to lack of up-to-date forensic technology.

He reiterated calls for the establishment of a permanent High Court in Masvingo to clear the backlog of 83 cases.

Justice Musakwa decried the high number of murder cases using lethal weapons in Masvingo, which increased by 25 percent last year, saying people were supposed to respect the sanctity of human life.

During the current session, Justice Musakwa will preside over 11 murder cases.

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