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» » » Magistrate scorns defence lawyer, acquits suspect


Cephas Shava

- A driver accused of causing the death of five people in an accident along the Masvingo - Beitbridge road after the vehicle he was driving burst a tyre last year was acquitted by Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiwa last week despite what was described as shoddy work on the part of the defence lawyer.
Courage Salani (25), who was being represented by Phinias Ngarava of Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono Legal Practitioners, was acquitted after the magistrate found that the accident could have occurred due to circumstances beyond his control.
Musiwa, however, did not have any kind words for Ngarava whose submissions he described as nothing but a bunch of folksy work.
"Your lawyer's submissions for the discharge of your case is completely nothing….even a law student would have noted some loopholes….he is just bumping into issues--- the court is not acquitting you on the basis of your lawyer's defence," Musiwa told Salani during judgement.
Musiwa, among many other things, said instead of dismissing the evidence given by survivors, Ngarava could have anchored his defence on the anomalies of evidence provided by the State with regards to the burst tyre.
The magistrate, however, strongly cautioned Salani against reckless driving before acquitting him on the basis that the wheel of the vehicle he was driving on the fateful day might have burst due to circumstances that were beyond his control.
The State's case alleged that on April 4, 2016 at around 11:00 hrs, Salani was driving a Toyota Granvia, registration number ADS 8545, to Beitbridge before losing control of the vehicle at the 126 kilometre peg.
This resulted in the vehicle overturning several times with four passengers; Fidelis Muzvidziwa, Colonel Chirilele, Rampson Tseliso and Fiona Ndanga dying on the spot while Samuel Sibanda died upon admission at Neshuro District Hospital.local

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