THE High Court Anti-Corruption Court yesterday freed CID director Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira on $10 000 bail with strict conditions.
The judge was critical of investigators trying to lock-up the accused in the early stages of an investigation by opposing bail instead of bringing them to court for trial when investigations were complete .
Charambira is facing five counts of criminal abuse of office on allegations that he tried to stop investigations and prosecution of criminals arrested by the CID.
Through his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti who is being instructed by Tabison Bvekwa, Charumbira opted to apply for bail at the Anti Corruption Court after the State indicated its intention to oppose bail.
Charumbira successfully applied for bail before Justice Pisirayi Kwenda who imposed stiff conditions to secure Charumbira’s attendance in court.
In granting the defence application, the judge found no compelling reasons to justify the incarceration of Charumbira before trial when the case was not properly investigated.
He criticised the prosecution for shoddy work saying the Anti-Corruption Court can only function properly and more efficiently, when prosecutors bring well-investigated and complete cases for trial.
“I only need to reiterate that for the Anti-Corruption Court to function properly and more efficiently, focus must be on the investigated matters that are ready rather than on pre-trial incarceration,” said Justice Kwenda.
“This court is meant to deal with corruption matters expeditiously. Anti-corruption courts are available and have no waiting time.
“The State is at liberty to investigate its cases, bring them and request to have them prosecuted, but this does not seem to be the case. The emphasis is on denying suspects bail.”
Charges against Charumbira arose on December 17, 2015, when Detectives Ndlovu, Mbundire and Munyandure — all of CID Drugs, Harare — received information that Charles Chabata Magolise had dangerous drugs at his home. The team searched the house and recovered 443 grammes of dagga and then arrested Magolise.
Upon learning of the arrest, Charumbira phoned Det Ndlovu on his cellphone instructing him to release Magolise, alleged the State.
The team ignored the instruction after consulting Officer Commanding CID Drugs, Harare, Chief Superintendent Mukazhi, and took Magolise to Harare Central for docket compilation. There Charumbira summoned the team to his office to persuade them to release the suspect.
After realising that Det Ndlovu and his team were not yielding to his demands, Charumbira allegedly became emotional and ordered them out of his office. Magolise was subsequently taken to court where he was convicted and jailed for eight months.