Tempers flared during PHD leader, Walter Magaya’s rape trial at the High Court this Tuesday morning as top Harare lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu castigated the Prosecutor General, Advocate Ray Goba for being vindictive and failing to understand basic precepts of law.
Magaya appeared before Justice Emy Tsanga facing charges of rape, unlawful termination of pregnancy and obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
He pleaded not guilty to all counts.
The state was represented by Advocate Goba, Mr Ulandi and Mrs Muronda, while the defence team comprised of Everson Chatambudza, Admire Rubaya, Oliver Marwa and Advocate Mpofu.
The complainant and alleged rape victim, Petronella Donhodzo Mandaza, who turned hostile and has under oath testified that she had falsely implicated Magaya and no longer wishes to pursue the case, hired the services of Advocate Sylvester Hashiti to plead her case.
Prosecutor General Goba applied for the court to put Magaya in custody and reapply for bail on the basis that his plea had terminated his bail.
He said the accused was facing serious charges and had interfered with the Prosecutor General and witnesses since January this year.
Advocate Mpofu however objected to the application by the Prosecutor General and told the court that Magaya was removed from bail by the magistrates’ court after he lodged a Constitutional Court challenge against his persecution.
The court ruled that the state had failed to prove how Magaya had interfered with witnesses and added that if ever there had been interference, the state was at liberty to have the accused brought to court on those allegations.
Advocate Mpofu said the conduct of the Prosecutor Peneral shows that he is petty and vindictive, adding that the country is cursed to have Advocate Goba as its Prosecutor General as he lacks understanding of the law.
Justice Tsanga had to intervene and told Advocate Mpofu to tone down and not to attack his counterpart.
Advocate Goba unsuccessfully sought the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the complainant, Mandaza who had failed to avail herself in court but chose to write an affidavit refusing to come and testify on the basis that she had falsely accused Magaya of raping her.
The court found that the application for a warrant of arrest against the complainant was premature and postponed the matter to the 25th of April where the state and defence councils will have answered to applications against each other.