Harare regional magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka has dismissed an application by the State to summon High Court Judge Justice Sylvia Chirau Mugomba to testify in the ongoing fraud case involving Ivy Kombo and her husband Admire Kasi.

The couple is being accused of fraudulently acquiring conversion certificates for practising law in Zimbabwe. 

They are jointly charged with the suspended Council for Legal Education (CLE) boss Hardwork Huggins Duri.

Justice Mugomba is the CLE chairperson and is alleged to have authored a letter authorizing the couple to be exempted from writing the conversion examinations which consist of eight subjects.

Meanwhile, the State has so far summoned several witnesses to testify on the matter, Justice Mugomba was unfortunately not on the list of witnesses.

In her ruling, Chakanyuka said the State’s application was not acceptable.

“According to Section 232 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, it is the court that has the mandate to call the witness it so specifies at anytime.

“The statute should be given its ordinary meaning, consistent with the provision when read in whole. As such words must be taken in their context and it is the duty of this court to interpret the statute in this instance,” she said.

Chakanyuka said Section 232 referred to the court calling the witness. A court is an agency charged with judicial authority, but the State cannot arm-twist the court to call the High Court judge.

The prosecutors, Tafara Chirambira and Anesu Chirenje, representing the State, requested a postponement of the trial until May 23 to allow for its continuation.

They expressed the need to review the ruling and consider necessary factors. The State argued that the judge’s testimony would bring justice to the case, as confirmation of Kasi and Kombo’s exemption would undermine the State’s accusations.

However, defense attorneys Admire Rubaya, Everson Chatambudza, and Tamutsa Muzana objected, claiming the application was unfair and akin to persecution. They argued that the law prohibits simultaneous investigation and prosecution of the same case, thus the court should not favour the State’s position.