Magistrate Steps Down from Rape Trial Delayed Three Times Due to Unavailability of Key Witness!
Harare Magistrate Clever Tsikwa has recused himself from presiding over the trial of Ronald Ngwenya, who is accused of raping his minor niece. Magistrate Tsikwa made this decision due to the ongoing bickering between the Ngwenya family and the victim’s family. Tsikwa cited that both families were bragging about influencing the outcome of the case as his reason for recusal
Magistrate Delayed Trial Three Times
The trial had been delayed three times due to the non-appearance of the family maid, who was present at the time of the alleged offence. A letter from the victim’s father to the National Prosecuting Authority accused Ngwenya of allegedly preventing the witness from testifying. He goes on to say, Ngwenya was trying to influence the outcome of the case by selling an asset for US$15,000.
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Magistrate’s Reason for Recusal
Magistrate Tsikwa announced his recusal on professional grounds. He stated that the ongoing bickering between the two families made him uncomfortable to deal with the matter.
“It’s most unfortunate that there has been too much bickering between the families which has made me uncomfortable to deal with the matter because of the bragging between the families of what they can do to influence the outcome of this matter,” he said.
Private Investigators Find Maid
H-Metro reports that the father of the child hired private investigators, who assisted the police in locating the maid, Winnet Mugobo. Winnet is now available to testify and will appear in court next Tuesday when the trial begins under another magistrate.
Father of the Child’s Complaint
The girl’s father wrote a complaint letter to the National Prosecuting Authority. He criticized the court’s hasty approach despite the unavailability of the witness, which he attributed to Ngwenya. “The court’s impatience erodes our confidence in this trial,” he stated.