The State last week called its only witness from the City of Harare to testify in an application for referral to the Constitutional Court by George Katsimberis in his fraud case.
Katsimberis is accused of building a showroom in Borrowdale without an approved building plan resulting in the showroom being demolished.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza called his witness Allan Matambo who is employed by the City of Harare as a plan and records officer.
Matambo told the court that his duties include receiving plans that would have been submitted for approval, and keeping their records and returning them to their owners after approval.
Mr Reza produced a plan which was allegedly used by Katsimberis but his lawyer advocate Tinomudaishe Chinyoka objected, saying they were not saved with it before.
Mr Chinyoka told the court that they could not comment on any information in that said plan since it was their first time to see it.
The matter was postponed to allow the State to serve the defence with the plan.
Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro that same week dismissed an application by Mr Chinyoka to have Mr Michael Reza on the witness stand as a witness.
Mr Chinyoka submitted that Mr Reza should answer certain issues that had been raised during the application for referral to the Constitutional Court for it to be complete.
In dismissing the application, the magistrate ruled that Mr Reza cannot be compelled to testify in a case in which he is prosecuting because, in such a situation, who will be the State representative?
She said is the defence suggesting that it will be leading the proceedings?
“This is an unusual application as can be seen by the fact that there is no previous case law dealing with such a situation.
“Section 229 provides for the calling of witnesses. There is a process that is followed. A party to a case cannot just say in court l want that person to take the witness stand and be my witness,” ruled Mrs Guwuriro.
She further stated that the amiability and integrity of the court must be preserved at all times and acceding to the defence application would lead to the integrity of the court being affected.
Mr Reza had refused to take the witness stand saying the defence wishes to pursue an improper route.
“I am an officer of the court and everything that I said in this trial is consistent with my role as a prosecutor.
The defence once said the State was petty and I did not call him to the witness stand to testify,” said.
Mr Reza said Advocate Chinyoka once raised these issues before and they were dealt with at that time.
“The defence wants to bring drama into this honourable court by latching on a straw,” he said.
Source Zimbabwe Situation