Head of marriages at the Registrar-General’s Office in Harare, Gordon Tsuro, who was last year committed to prison after unlawfully enjoying freedom for six years after his conviction for assaulting his wife, is now back at work after a prosecutor consented to both the reinstatement of his appeal and release on bail.
Tsuro, who was jailed three years in 2012 for attacking his wife with an axe, had his appeal dismissed by the High Court for want of prosecution in 2013.
After the dismissal of the appeal, he was supposed to be jailed, but continued enjoying his freedom for six years with the public thinking he had been acquitted by the High Court.
He was only arrested and committed to prison end of last year after The Herald exposed the rot.
A prosecutor from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) appeared before the High Court on December 27 and agreed in writing to the reinstatement of the appeal.
The same prosecutor on January 10 was back in court and consented to Tsuro’s release on bail pending appeal.
Investigations by The Herald revealed that Tsuro briefly showed up at work and went into his office before leaving.
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 the then Harare regional magistrate, Mr William Bhila, found him guilty of assault.
On the same date, Tsuro’s lawyers, Mupindu & Mugiya, filed a notice of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court.
On the strength of the notice of appeal, Tsuro successfully applied for bail.
Tsuro and his lawyers did not prosecute the appeal, resulting in the Registrar of the High Court throwing it out on May 15, 2013.
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.
Mupindu & Mugiya wrote to the Registrar seeking reinstatement of the appeal, but the Registrar advised them to file a court application.
However, Mupindu & Mugiya renounced agency before a new law firm by the name Mugiya & Macharaga assumed agency.
Contrary to the findings, on September 13, 2019, Harare lawyer Mr Norman Mugiya of Mugiya & Macharaga claimed his client was acquitted by the High Court, but could not give the date, the name of the judge or prosecutor who handled the case.
Since September 13, efforts to get further details from Mr Mugiya proved fruitless as he kept on giving excuses.
A check with officials at the High Court and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) head office did not yield any different results. The officials confirmed they were only aware of the appeal that was dismissed for non-compliance with the rules.
The Herald is reliably informed that on October 24 last year, Registrar of the High Court Mr Donald Ndirowei sent a copy of the High Court record to the Harare Magistrates’ Courts to enable the lower court to issue a warrant of arrest against Tsuro, which was eventually issued.
The Herald also established that the’ court record did not show any sign of acquittal or reinstatement of the appeal.