The trial of gospel musician Ivy Kombo and her husband Admire Kasi who allegedly fraudulently acquired their practicing law certificates for Zimbabwe was yesterday postponed at the instigation of the State after the prosecutor was refused permission to tender an email as evidence.
The two are jointly charged with the suspended executive secretary for the Council for Legal Education Huggins Hardwork Duri on fraud charges.
The trial was supposed to be on a continuous roll for yesterday and today but the State made an application seeking a postponement.
Initially, the State led its witness Edith Mandiyanike, who is the business and public relations officer at Fidelity Printers where the law certificates are now printed.
In her evidence in chief, Ms Mandiyanike told the court that she has worked for the company for the past 20 years and only knew Duri as a client since 2022 when Fidelity took over the printing of the certificates for CLE.
She told the court that CLE sends a request for printing of certificates and Fidelity Printers gives a quotation. CLE then deposit the money and send her proof of payment so that she could print the certificates.
She added that CLE through Duri send a list of names of students and after printing the certificates they advise CLE to come and collect them.
State prosecutor Mr Anesu Chirenje then wanted to tender in evidence an email supposedly containing the list of student names from CLE which was opposed by the defence counsel for the accused persons arguing that they had not been served with the email prior to trial commencement.
Presiding magistrate Mrs Feresi Chakanyuka after several submissions by both State and defence counsel ordered that the document not be tendered, hence trial should proceed.
“The objection is sustained…it is prejudicial to the defence to extract evidence from the email without having served them. Therefore, the matter has to proceed,” she said.
There was a brief adjournment and Mr Chirenje sought for a postponement in light of the ruling that had been given by the court.
“Your worship we are seeking a postponement in terms of Section 165 in light of the ruling made by the court. The ruling marked a defining moment to the State case. We want to explore options. We want to transcribe the record and proceed on the 19th. We believe that issues being raised have substantial effect on the State case and be given ample time to go through the record of proceedings.
“The executive assistant is writing a letter to the clerk of court so that the process is expedited. The postponement is necessary and expedient in the interest of justice,” he said.
The three defence counsel of Mr Admire Rubaya, Mr Everson Chatambudza and Mr Oliver Marwa strongly opposed the application which they described as frivolous, vexatious and unconstitutional.
They argued that the State did not give sufficient reasons to justify a postponement as it did not tell the court what it wanted to do with the record and citing that a postponement would not be fair to the accused persons.
After hearing submissions of both parties Mrs Chakanyuka granted the application for postponement.
The matter returns on February 19 for trial continuation. Herald